Barbara Steel and Tina Chen led the walk on Waikowhai Coastal Walkway. 18 participants met at Waikowhai
Park at 2pm. |
After a brief introduction and prayer, we started from the Lookout in Waikowhai
Park. It’s a great view to Manukau Harbour and Mangere Bridge. Tina explained the meaning of Manukau
(wading birds). Many Maori names have been used but Manukau was the most popular one. It reminds people
of migrating birds (godwit and southern oystercatcher) coming here each summer.
We came to the
Change shed – a place where people got changed before jumping into the sea. In the early 20th century
Aucklanders swam and camped in Waikowhai Bay. 273 stairs led us up to Cape Horn Road. It’s a big challenging
to some senior trampers, but they made it! When we went off Cape Horn Road and back to bush again, we
noticed some pine trees were cut off. Tina guessed it might be for the growth of the native plants (the
same thing was done in Western Spring). Some members confirmed it’s correct.
We came to Cape
Horn Lookout. The view to Manukau Harbour was stunning. Tina shared that Maori had been living here for
over 800 years. The seashells that were exposed from the ground along the walkway was the evidence. Samuel
Marsden was the first European visiting here in November 1820.
The walkway was up and down. The
seabed in low tide was seen through the bush from time to time. The track was covered by dried leaves,
so soft and comfortable. The younger members enjoyed the walk so far, but the seniors struggled. After
some effort, we all made to Manukau Domain and took a break.
Barbara shared that Waikowhai meant
Kowhai by the water. Kowhai was a yellow flower that blossomed in Spring. It’s the important food for
Tui, Rosella and Kingfisher. The bush we just walked through was the largest block of native forest in
Auckland. Barbara started the devotions from the picture – the Tree of Life. The branches reached high
into the heavens and the roots dug deep into the Earth. The branches were woven together, implying wisdom
and calmness. It symbolized a choice – if you ate from the tree of life, you’d have the eternal life
with God. Barbara quoted Revelation 22 v 1-2, the river of water of life flew from God to the street
of the city. The tree of life grew on both sides of the river, producing fruits every month. The leaves
of the tree were used to heal the nations.
When we were about to head back, a member wasn’t feeling
well. Sunny was happy to take her to her home nearby. The rest of us walked the streets to Wattle Bay.
Then we walked down to Waikowhai Coastal Walkway. We skipped Cape Horn Lookout and the Change Shed and
arrived at Waikowhai Park at 5:15pm. The walk was an hour longer than usual, but most of us liked it.