Friday, December 15, 2006

Cornwall Park and One Tree Hill - 16th Dec. 2006

Today Nickname Pending and I didn't go too far afield - it's about a twenty minute drive from our place to One Tree Hill, which we would be able to see out our lounge window if it wasn't for the cursed trees across the road and their damnable upward growth.

Following the instructions in Day Walks of Greater Auckland, we entered Cornwall Park from the north entrance, which is off Greenlane, on to Pohutukawa Drive. There is a stone wall on the lefthand side as you drive in, and at the end of this, where it meets a wire fence, is a style, and on the other side of that begins the narrow dirt track around the permiter of the Park.

We roughly followed this, through paddocks with sheep,

cattle (including one that wanted me to go away) ,

and lots of nice (largely exotic) trees and long grass.
We made it most of the way around in plenty of time, so decided to go up to the summit once we hit the west entrance road, as recommended in the book. We basically just followed the road up, along with many others, some of whom were disturbingly running and/or pushing baby buggies. Here's a pic of the summit, while walking up to it:

And here's the obligatory child-running-around-the-plaque shot,

Followed by the now mandatory tree's-eye-view(if-there-were-a-tree) pic

From the top we could see a lot of the peaks we have already visited; the Devonport volcanoes, Mt Albert and Mt Roskill, and the Big King (I think, there was a hill with a water tower on top anyway). Then there was my nemesis, Mt Eden, looming malevolently. And of course some lovely views of the city in general, such as the outlook towards the Manukau:

The walking is largely easy, although I would recommend wearing long trousers if you have sensitive skin - I had a lot of welts on my legs from reacting to the grasses. There is a surprising amount of up going around the perimeter, and obviously the summit itself is a hill, but not challenging. Watch out for the animals - most are fine but some are not. In total this walk took us around two and a bit hours, including the detour to the summit. Bird-life is mainly exotic (although we did see a dead tui), as are the trees. If anything it reminded me of walking in a less-tame version of Chatsworth, the English estate.

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