My son (3 and a half) requested that we go for a drive this afternoon. I asked where he would like to go, and he said he would like to walk in the forest. (Truly his mother’s son!)

So, we headed into Reikorangi Valley and followed Mangaone South Road, where the southern end of the Mangaone Walkway is accessed. The last time we had explored this track (when my son was about two), we only got as far as the swing bridge (50 metres in), before becoming ensconced by the river, experimenting with the myriad different ways stones can be thrown into the water (<– irony). So no actual bush-walking was undertaken on that occasion. (more…)

This post makes no pretensions of being a serious essay about environmental history; it is more an excuse to post a few pictures from the little Reikorangi expedition my son undertook a few days ago (see: Views of Kapiti 8: the kahikatea of Ngatiawa and The bridge between two counties: Ngatiawa Bridge).

This first picture was taken on Rangiora Road (click here to view map). The fence literally dripping with lichen was extremely enticing, and the horse peeking through the slats was an added bonus. (more…)

After our first excursion to Reikorangi on the last day of 2011 [see: Views of Kapiti 8: the kahikatea of Ngatiawa], I couldn’t resist another outing there with my son the next day.

I find the landscapes of Reikorangi so alluring; the natural environment itself is varied and interesting, both in its contours and mix of indigenous and exotic vegetation, but I also like the fact that its history is so palpable in the landscape. Even from the road, an observant visitor will spot old buildings, lichen-covered fences, abandoned machinery and other infrastructure. (more…)

It was a rainy afternoon on the last day of 2011, so the family and I went out on a drive into the countryside to get out of the house. We ventured into the Reikorangi hills to the east of Waikanae, and just at the junction of Ngatiawa and Kents Road [click here to view map], came across this paddock with a few scattered kahikatea in it. The trees are too small to be original, but are likely to have spontaneously regenerated after the forest that clothed the hills here was cleared. (more…)

Today, the Akatarawa Road between Waikanae and the Upper Hutt provides a beautiful scenic route through rugged native forest and forestry country, with views across the valley out to sea [click here to view location]. The road largely follows the Akatarawa River, which joins the Hutt River north of Upper Hutt. (more…)

This landscape was taken from Mangaone South Road, Reikorangi [click here to view map]. Mangaone South Road largely follows the Waikanae River as it makes its way from the western foothills of the Tararua Ranges out to sea. In this shot, pasture-covered hills can be seen in the foreground, while regenerating bush-clad hills can be seen in the background. (more…)

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