Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Gone bush in Totara Park

Pausing (resting) for photo taking
"Let's go bush walking", suggested friend Julia. I anticipated this would be a walk in the park, but I wasn't to know that she was in training for a 'big, serious' hike later in the month. In addition, she has fabulously long legs when compared with my little trotters.

She sailed along the Puhinui Stream Forest Trail in Totara Park with me panting in her slipstream. Fortunately, we had to stop periodically for photos. My usual photographer, TH, had wisely declined to come on this trip but Julia was happy to oblige.

At the beginning she had us 'trip-trapping' at a fast clip over several bridges in the park.  I barely had time to admire the peaceful streams and wonder if trolls really did live down there before Julia was gazelle-like off on the next path.  However, over a couple of hours, her pace slowed as we both became enchanted by the towering trees - particularly the totara with its feathery leaves, the arrow-straight kahikatea and the ancient, spreading puriri.
Ancient Puriri tree

Totara Park is a glorious, green gem in Manurewa (just 25km south of Central Auckland). Within its 216 hectares of native bush and farmland there is a huge network of walking tracks, bridle trails and mountain bike tracks.  Within minutes you can be nestled in the hush of the bush and forget that the city and the busy southern motorway is just a few kilometres away.

I didn't see any bikes or horses, but look out for a determined, long-legged mountain woman.

Find out more:
Admiring the trees (ignoring the troll under the bridge)