Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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Thirty walkers gathered at the Martyn Field Reserve on the corner of Shore Rd and Orakei Rd in Orakei at 2pm. Five of these were visitors, friends of Christine and Ian and of Cathie and Murray Black. As we stood in a circle maps were given out and Christine gave a brief history of the development of the Walkway. It was 1996 when consent was first given to construct a walkway to run along the edge of Hobson Bay. However community and environmental groups vocally opposed the 3 metre high board walk running from one end to the other which was the original plan. Over the years and various court battles the Council fine tuned the design to be more environmentally friendly. It was designed and built in 7 sections, each section being presented to the public for feedback and evaluation before embarking on the next.

After a prayer we set off across Shore Rd and entered the walkway at the bottom of St Kent School’s playing fields. The well formed gravel track ran close to the edge of Hobson Bay before leading up Victoria Ave and down Shore Rd to restart again at the Shore Rd Reserve. We had a brief stop at the Shore Rd Reserve viewing platform from where we could view three volcanoes lined up, Mt Victoria, North Head and Rangitoto. Christine also pointed out the curve of the bay where the track continued, pointing out that the track came to a natural end near Resolution where steep cliffs and a large slip prevented it going any further.

We continued along the back of Shore Rd Reserve and Thomas Bloodworth Park which are busy sporting venues. A boardwalk surrounded by bush and mangroves led us out to the beach where the path was less developed. Ian gave an explanation of the huge circular concrete turrets which housed the mouth of the underground pipeline which feeds sewerage across the Hobson Bay to Orakei and pumped up and out to Mangere. Once we reached the huge slip which occurred a month or two ago, the track was cordoned off and we retraced out steps to Awatea Reserve.

Here we sat on the boardwalk in the peaceful clearing while Ian gave a devotional talk on Stepping out in faith based on the day’s devotions in The Word For Today. Unless you’re willing to take risks you won’t succeed in life. After you have finished praying, searching scriptures and listening to godly counsel, you have to step out in faith. Two examples come to mind - (1) The lady who reached out and touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and was healed. She had to take action before she was healed; (2) The ten lepers who were instructed to go to the temple to be examined, taking the risk of being stoned, and as they went they were healed. These people were healed by taking a step of faith. Now, your risks may be way less dramatic, but unless you take them, you’ll never fulfil your God-given assignment in life. The Bible does say Whoever digs a pit may fall into it; whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake (Ecclesiastes 10:8). Walking by faith means (1) Accepting worthwhile risks and (2) Preparing wisely for those risks. So go ahead, step out in faith!

We then left the Hobson Bay Walkway to walk up steep streets to enter the top of Ayr Reserve. A well formed path and steps led us through peaceful bush back down to the bottom of Ayr St where we rejoined the Hobson Bay Walkway and retraced our steps through the parks to Shore Rd where many people stayed to enjoy refreshments at Greenfingers Cafe in the Palmers Garden Centre. It was 5pm before people set off home, many saying this walkway had been unknown to them and they would like to return and explore it again one day.
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