After four years of planning, discussion and action the new track from Pa Road bridge to Te Wairere Waterfall on the Wairoa Stream was opened last Saturday and can now be accessed by the public as far as the waterfall.
This is a community project jointly managed by Vision Kerikeri and Rotary Kerikeri with the help of Friends of Wairoa Stream and supported by other community groups including the Men’s Shed and Shade House Volunteers.
Coverage of the opening by the press:
The Opening Ceremony
The opening was well attended by about 90 people and in his opening remarks, Rod Brown of Vision Kerikeri, said that he was very grateful to Emily and Richard Fladgate for granting access across their property and enabling the river to be bridged.
He also paid tribute to Rotary Kerikeri for the construction of the challenging 12 metre span bridge under the direction of Rotarian, Keith Day.. Rod also acknowledged Michael Sidey of Wanaka who made the bridge possible by a generous donation of $10,000 for bridge materials. Although Michael had never lived in Kerikeri, his grandparents Jim and May Brodie owned Pagoda Lodge during the 1950’s and he wished to remember them in a practical way which would also serve the Kerikeri community. The Walking Access Commission had provided advice and funded legal, survey and signage costs. Rod also acknowledged the positive support of the Community Board which had helped with grants and, Council officers, who had been very supportive throughout.
Under the guidance of Mayor Carter, the Jim and May Brodie bridge was opened and the ribbon was cut by Michael Sidey’s granddaughters Zoe aged 6 and Nina aged 4, thus commemorating 4 generations of his family. Led by Kipa of Ngati Rehia, the community then crossed the newly blessed bridge.
How to Access the Track
If you are walking to the track it can be accessed from; the bottom of Alderton Drive, via the Pa Road footbridge track and from Kororipo Heritage Park. It starts as a grassed esplanade along the bank (town side) of the Wairoa Stream.
If you are planning to arrive by car please do not park in Alderton Drive as this is a private road. You will need to park in the Kororipo Heritage Park public carpark located on the right hand side of Kerikeri Road just before the Stone Store. You can access the track by walking up and across the Kainga (access from the car park) in the Heritage Park and follow the DOC Te Araroa Track signs. That short track will lead you to the Pa Road footbridge but you will see signage pointing to the Te Wairere Track just before you reach bridge.
The Waterfall Track is well formed with several bridges and is marked with orange triangles. It is roughly a 1 hour return journey to this beautiful and previously ‘lost’ waterfall. The track makes a great detour for people using; the Pa Road Footbridge Track (part of the Te Araroa Trail), the Hongi Hika Track or walking in the Kororipo Pa area. Suitable footwear is recommended as it is uneven in many places and will be slippery in damp conditions. The track should not be used when the river is in flood.
It is an easy walk that initially follows the right bank of the Wairoa Stream and then crosses to the left bank where it follows an historical path used during the 19th century. In the short term, you will need to return via the same route.
Linking the Walk
A further 600 metre track is being constructed around the Te Wairere Waterfall to link with the public walkway and wildlife corridor already formed by Vison Kerikeri and Living Waters that exists from Orchard Estate housing development to Samaree Reserve. The link track will be opened as soon as a safety barrier is constructed around the waterfall cliff face by volunteers from the Friends of Wairoa Stream. This will give a more than 3 km public walkway from Pa Road Bridge to Sammaree Reserve providing an alternate entry / exit point at Cobham Road Bridge, close to the centre of town.
Work on further extending the walkway to link with Campbell Lane is now in the planning stages.
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