Saturday, April 28, 2007

Oakley Creek Walkway - 28th Apr 2007

Yesterday I decided to do a short walk not too far away, so I set off for Waterview. I parked down Cowley Ave, walked up Great North Rd a bit, and took the walkway across the road.

Then it was down, beneath the level of the road, and along the Oakley Creek Walkway. Billed in a City Council brochure as containing the isthmus' only natural waterfall, it's obviously undergoing significant renewal. This is good because the path and the park are in a parlous state at the moment, although the work already done is making a big difference. It will be a fantastic oasis when it's finished.

Most of the trees are exotic, but the planting programme appears to be largely native, so eventually there will be a good mix. The path kind of follows the creek - at parts it is quite a distance from it, but in general it winds back and forth across it via some pretty bridges.

The autumn trees were great, and there was some pretty cool moss and lichen, and even some actual mushrooms! I don't like to eat them, but I do like to snap them.

There are also some curious old walls throughout the park, possibly put in when Unitec was Carrington, and Carrington was a mental institution?

I wanted to do this walk because I was curious about the waterfall. You have to go down some stairs to get to it, and the flat area at the bottom of the fall looks very beaten up, but the waterfall itself has a surprising impact. The pics don't really capture it I'm afraid.

Above the waterfall there were ducks, and I did see a few other birds, but they were always flying away from me. A lot of people were using the path - walking, cycling, pushing strollers, exercising dogs. It'll be great when the path can sustain that use along its whole length.

Walking to the end and back would take around an hour. The concrete path is broken in parts, and narrow the whole way, but this is a very pretty and serene walk. It does need more signage though - there were a lot of paths off to the side, which I suspect joined up with Unitec of the housing on the road-side of the creek, but it wasn't clear, particularly at the end. I'm still not sure I walked the whole way.

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