Estuary Marshes, Christchurch 360 Walkway

Sunday 25 June 2023

Our small band was greatly outnumbered in Sumner by people awaiting the finishers of a running race. The day was cool with a weak, watery sun as we set off on this 19km leg. Our first stop was at a picnic table just before the causeway. From the Ferrymead Bridge the direct path would take you onto Humphries Drive alongside the Estuary but our skilled guide, Helen, knew to lead us beside the Heathcote River on a tree-lined track that runs to the tunnel road. We passed Trees for Canterbury nursery on Charlesworth Street, then did a circuit within Charlesworth Reserve. Lunch was had beside a skate ramp in Cypress Garden Reserve, then we went into Bromley, Ruru and Memorial Park Cemeteries which are all connected. A 30 metre excursion in Ruru Lawn Cemetery, took us to the Ballantynes Fire Memorial. Combined, the cemeteries occupy a lot of space and are impressive.

A section of the track goes parallel to Pages Road, then through suburban streets and heads into Bexley Park. Across Anzac Drive we were on Red Zone land and soon we had reached the car that Mike and Sue had kindly placed by the Bexley Bridge on Wairoa Street. The walk has lots of variety and many twists and turns. To stay on the route, you need detailed instructions or a skilled guide. We had Helen who knows that side of town intimately. Helen commented that it would be good if the track went through the Te Huingi Manu Wildlife Reserve, but so far, no access is permitted. For an interactive map showing details and history click here.

We were: Helen Harkness, Mike Bourke, Sue Britain, Sha SG, Wendy Wallace, Diane Dixon and Kerry Moore. [KM]