Tiromoana Bush Walkway

Sunday 16 July 2023

Eight of us arrived at the Tiromoana car park on a breezy NW day and set off with coats on, for an anticlockwise circuit of the reserve. The student women from France were wearing running shoes, so soon had wet socks on the flat, grassy sections of track. We made a stop at Kate Pond, where Alexsandra with endless patience held a stick out to encourage a flitting fantail to settle. Finally, it obliged for a full one second and Hilaire managed to get the photo to prove it.

Coats came off for the climb up to 346m Ella. On the way up we were surprised to see a ewe with lambs hurry into a grove of kanuka—not spring lambs but winter lambs. The view was good, though Banks Peninsula was hidden in low cloud. More fantails flitted about as we descended. We walked past a flock of sheep being break-fed on oats, then on to the Matairangi lookout for lunch. John found a direct way to the beach while we back-tracked to the conventional track alongside Kate Stream. At the beach a couple who regularly hunt for fossils showed us a nice crab fossil they had found. That got us enthused and we wandered around with our heads down, finding the usual shell fossils, and Sha found an unusual specimen of some kind which needs to be identified.

We might have stayed longer but the threat of rain moved us on, up the farm road, into the park, into a pine forest, then back on the road again, reaching the cars at about 3pm. The basic circuit is 10km but we did extra on the Te Ara Tawhai loop and the climb up Ella. A good day out for all, though the walk could be reserved for days when the weather is bad inland. This day’s weather forecast fell short and we had a dry day, with rain finally arriving in the evening. 

We were: Evelien Baas (leader), Alexsandra, Rianna, Hilaire Campbell, Sha, John Robinson, Kim Ashmore and Kerry Moore [KM].

Alex holds a perch for a busy fantail

Feverishly fossil fossicking

Farmland north of our circuit