A group of eight gathered at Bracken Avenue and set off in two cars for Tawharanui Regional Reserve.
On our arrival we met up with 22 others who had made their own way there. The weather was fine and
Three groups were organised. Team A comprising 10 members, led by Marian, were ready to
do the shorter Discovery Walk A while the remaining 20 comprised two groups led by Barry and David got
ready to do Mystery Walk B. The first "B" group were given a 10 minute head start.
Group A set
off with their instructions to head east along the North Coast Trail to the bridge. Unfortunately there
were no brochures to explain the colour coding on the posts but Marian knew the way. We were given instructions
to find little bird pictures which were attached to posts or trees along the way. The walk took us off
the beaten track into disused bush trails where bird life was prolific. We saw the Takahe chicks - now
growing up, a saddleback, stitch bird, bellbirds, tuis, woodpigeons fantails and others. It was just
glorious listening to their song. The walk took us through a gully which was quite challenging as we
found our way over fallen trees and vines and up a very steep bank. Fortunately we were able to find
the bird signs by following blue markers on the trees but missed a rope which we were meant to follow
up the hill. However, we were able to exit the bush at the right place and found our way back to base.
The walk took longer than expected, over three hours but was very enjoyable and some of us had a lovely
swim in the sea after lunch.
Both Walk B teams were able to follow the directions and found their
way to the beach. The first disappointment was that the Bird A sign had been vandalised and the bird
was not visible. David drew a black backed gull on the remains of the sign with marker pen. We found
Birds B ( faded but recognisable), C (unrecognisable) and D (removed and scratch marks on plate). We
progressed past the gannet and petrel nesting sites and then headed up the stream bed which was mostly
dry. Unfortunately 20 pairs of eyes were unable to find Bird G which had been removed completely and
everyone stumbled on up the creek bed until exhausted. We managed to scramble out and found ourselves
back at Bird D. At this point it was decided to abandon the Mystery Walk and head for the Trig to enjoy
the views before returning to the hut following the yellow markers.
Although we were disappointed
at not being able to complete the 'Walk' everyone enjoyed the experience and would like to return once
the Auckland City does a thorough check and upgrades the Mystery Challenge Walk "B" to an acceptable
It was also very disappointing that there were no brochures available anywhere to explain
the colour coding on the trail posts. Another matter Auckland City needs to rectify.
David gave these devotions during a break. Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my way (Psalm
119:105) and Your ears will hear a voice… saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’ (Isaiah 30.21) We
spoke about how this tramp was different from others in that we had no map and didn't know the way. This
was only revealed to us one step at a time as we followed the instructions in the leaflet and looked
for the signs along the way. We couldn't visualise the next step until we had completed the last one.
We talked about how this can be applied to our lives as Christians. We don't always know God's plans
for us. Often they are only revealed as we follow His instructions as written in His Word and trust Him
as he takes us through life one step at a time. We don't always know what the future holds but we do
know that He will guide and direct us as we obey His word and follow in His footsteps.