Auckland Baptist Tramping Club


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We showed up for a tramp with a difference - a night walk through the reserves of Henderson. The weather was just right for this - fine, calm and not too cold. We met at the Corban Estate carpark, and after the usual intros we set off just after 7:30pm under the entertaining leadership of Laurie King who is involved with Search & Rescue. Our co-leader Phillip Norton hadn't turned up, so one of the others in the group acted as one.

We crossed a footbridge over the Opanuku Stream, then Laurie took us to a little patch of bush, where we found a man lying on the ground asleep using newspapers as a blanket. Concerned about him, Laurie went up and woke him and asked if he was OK. Phillip got onto his feet and joined our group of 15 as we continued along the concrete walkway-cycleway on the east side of the Opanuku Stream. We came to the marked site of a wild bee hive, and saw a hedgehog instead. The council does not exterminate wild bees because they are vital for pollinating the plants.
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In the sky we could see the Southern Cross stars, and Phillip explained how these stars helped with navigation in the old days. We saw a couple of geocache-style painted pebbles on the ground.As we carried on along the walkway we could clearly smell the pleasant aroma of the plants and surrounds. When we came out to Keeling Rd we came to a site marked with Police Emergency tape. Our exercise here was to find how many man-made objects were strewn in the bush behind a fence, to simulate police investigating the scene of a woman's abduction. Objects we saw included drink packets, a shoe and fancy ornaments.
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We had our break at the end of the walkway near Border Rd. Laurie handed out light sticks and gave devotions about the darkness. He told of how Jesus is our light, and how David in the Psalms told of God being his light. Laurie said that non-believers need to come to Jesus to receive their light.
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As we began our return walk along the bush track on the west side of Opanuku Stream, we found a tutu bird. This little brown bird is so tame that one could pick it up and hold it, and it wouldn't fly away. This little bird lays edible eggs, and we were able to have some of these.
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We all needed our headlamps on as we followed the bush track, with Laurie showing us such things as spider webs and how the floods in the recent cyclonic rainstorms had raised the level of the stream to well above where we were standing. We finished back at the Corban Estate car park at 9:45pm, having enjoyed such an interesting and entertaining walk by night.
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DISTANCE: 4.3km
AVERAGE SPEED INCLUDING BREAKS: 1.9km/h
MAXIMUM SPEED: 7.8km/h
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