Waiheke Twilight Rambles

Late afternoon light in the Forest and Bird Reserve, Onetangi
Late afternoon light in the Forest and Bird Reserve, Onetangi

Explore and discover Waiheke Island’s beauty and get fit in the process. Join the annual Waiheke Forest & Bird’s twilight rambles each Tuesday during January, 2013, beginning on Tuesday 8th. Each ramble begins at 6 p.m. and ends around 8 p.m. with a sausage sizzle. The free rambles are generously funded by the Waiheke Local Board and are open to everyone. Good walking shoes are required.

January 08 Ramble: Rangihoua Park Reserve at Onetangi Sports Park

Meet in the field opposite the Waiheke Dirt Track on O’Brien Road, just after the Rocky Bay turnoff.

Climb Rangihoua Hill (also known as Te Putiki o Kahu), one of Waiheke’s historical landmarks. Enjoy panoramic views overlooking Anzac Bay and across to Rangitoto Island and Auckland, and look down over the wetlands you’ll be walking through.

There will be a sausage sizzle at Onetangi Sports Park after this walk.

View towards Mt. Rangitoto from Rangihoua Hill
View towards Mt. Rangitoto from Rangihoua Hill
View from the top of Rangihoua Hill overlooking the wetlands
View from the top of Rangihoua Hill overlooking vineyards and wetlands, with Coromandel Peninsula visible in the background.

Walking guides are Karen Denyer and Janet Hunt who are both members of the Waiheke Island Wetland Initiative. Janet Hunt, whose book Wetlands of New Zealand: A Bitter-Sweet Story won the Environment Award and the Montana Medal for Non-Fiction at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, will be sharing her knowledge of the important ecological role the wetlands play in our environment, how they can be preserved, and the flora and fauna found there. The following photos are of wetland areas on Waiheke Island, which have their own distinct beauty.

Wetlands

Ducks Swimming Amongst Raupo

Wetlands with Raupo Near Matiatia

 

January 15: Okoka, Wharetana and Oakura Bays
Okoka Bay
Okoka Bay at low tide

Meet at top of Wharetana walkway, Rothschild Tce, Te Whau Peninsula.

Enjoy a coastal walk at low tide around three bays while walk guide Paul Monin, a local historian, relates interesting stories of days gone by and ones still present.

Moderate, although some steep ascents and descents, and some rocks may be slippery. Sturdy footwear essential.

Sausage sizzle afterwards at Wharetana Bay Public Reserve.

Tidal Stream at Oakura Bay
Tidal Stream at Oakura Bay
View from Wharetana Bay Across Putiki Bay
View from Wharetana Bay Across Putiki Bay

January 22: The Ancient Forest of Rorohara, Piemelon Bay
Forest at Rorohara
Forest at Rorohara

Meet at the barn through the gates of Rorohara, at the corner of  Waiheke Road and Belle Terrace, Onetangi.

Bruce Plested, owner of Rorohara, will guide you through the forest where, deep within its heart, you will be enchanted by story-teller, Tanya Batt.

There will be a sausage sizzle after the walk (about 8 p.m.)

 

Young Nikau palms cover the foest floor.
Young Nikau palms cover the foest floor.
January 29: Forest and Bird Reserve, Onetangi
Forest and Bird Reserve, Onetangi
Forest and Bird Reserve, Onetangi

Meet at the Onetangi Hall on Third Avenue, Onetangi.

After entering the reserve at Roy Nelson Gate on Waiheke Rd, walkers will meander along the newly formed track through Raupo Valley, then through bush to the ancient towering pohutukawa on Pohutukawa Ridge with panoramic views over Onetangi. Walk guides will be ranger Lincoln Jackson and track creator, Tony King-Turner.

Enjoy a stunning view and a sausage sizzle when you reach Pohutukawa Ridge.

Overlooking Onetangi from Pohutukawa Ridge
Overlooking Onetangi from Pohutukawa Ridge