It was a beautiful, warm, sun-filled day on Easter Sunday so we took the dogs for a walk up the Tip Track, part of Te Kopahau Reserve on Wellington’s South Coast.
This walk takes you from the Happy Valley gate to the sealed road near the top of Hawkins Hill. The ascent is steep in places with a good place to rest half way up in the abandoned stockyards. This track is a favourite with mountain bikers and walkers. Look to the north and you can see the Living Earth plant and the Southern Landfill.
The track itself starts by the road to the rubbish tip, off Happy Valley Road. It’s a fairly wide path, sometimes rutted, and with a somewhat loose surface, that relentlessly climbs towards Hawkins Hill.
We walked on a sunny, almost cloudless morning, with no shade on that northern side of the hill. The dogs occasionally found a tiny patch of shade beneath some longer grass beside the track, but it was a hot climb.
We took our time, and after an hour reached what is probably the Old Stockyards where we had a snack and a drink while we enjoyed views over Wellington Harbour and Cook Strait. Once rested we made our way down again — a half hour walk.
Our walk was surprisingly noisy as sounds from the Landfill’s operation resounded across the valley. At the top of the hill is also a bizarre fortress-like house defended by large and very noisy dogs. We could hear their persistent barking during most of our walk. It must be horrible living in the midst of all that commotion.
The fortress photo here was taken on a different walk in 2006.
We met one cyclist on his way down the hill, and one woman and her dog on their way down. It was a pleasant enough way to spend a couple of hours, but I think it’s a walk best done not in full, hot sunshine.
Click on the photos for larger versions.