Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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On a very thick foggy Saturday morning 24 intrepid walkers met at the ‘Loch Ness Monster’ pond in Waiuku, ready to begin our exploration of the estuary and surrounding areas. We enjoyed looking at a painted mural and history boards as we meandered down River Lane towards Tamakae Reserve. The first leg of our day involved a 10km circuit along the western side of the estuary down to Sandspit Beach, where we appreciated the new promenade and pier that the local council installed over Summer 2018/2019 to upgrade the area.

We had morning tea here and Barbara Steel shared a devotion with us about the nature of journeys being made up of small steps. This was particularly relevant to our walk as we enjoyed using trails that the local volunteer community group, The Mudlarks, have been working on.  

From Sandspit Beach we walked along the western section of the beach onto a wide, grassy strip of grass (known I think as a Queen’s Chain) which led us around to the very western edge of the estuary. From here we continued our loop back into town via the local streets, enjoying good fellowship and conversations as we ambled.

Lunchtime was spent exploring the little historic buildings in the Tamakae Reserve and taking advantage of the opportunity to walk through the main street of town to look at the sights and get a feel of the local community. After lunch we regrouped at the statue of Tamakae where Jocelyn shared a creative story of the naming of Waiuku, according to local Maori legend. The eastern side of the Waiuku estuary took us through a grove of native trees, along another recently installed trail, and onto the Queen’s Chain that runs alongside this side of the estuary. It gave us lovely views over the estuary and out to the mouth of the Waiuku river, the fog having lifted at lunchtime. We took 5 minutes for a rest at the The Steps to Nowhere before retracing our footsteps back to River Lane and our parked cars.

The total distance walked was 13.4km. This was a very easy walk with beautiful mirrored reflections in the morning’s tide, made all the more dramatic by the thick fog.
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