New­est sec­tion of river trail of­fers en­joy­able walk

South Waikato News - - YEAR IN REVIEW - By MATT GRO­COTT

I’VE BEEN slowly chip­ping away at the Waikato River Trails this sum­mer, head­ing out when I can to walk dif­fer­ent sec­tions.

The new­est sec­tion to open runs north from Ara­puni to the south­ern end of Lake Kara­piro.

On Sun­day I en­tered the trail from Lit­tle Waipa Re­serve with the in­ten­tion of head­ing south. The plan was to walk to the point I had reached late last year when Glyn Wooller from Waikato River Trails led a guided walk along part of the trail from Ara­puni.

The track starts out par­al­lel to Ho­ra­hora Rd. Here the Waikato River is wide and al­most lake-like. Be­fore too long the road turns away and the amount of bush in­creases.

The high­light of this sec­tion is a board­walk through the Hui­huitaha Wet­lands.

Here a canopy en­velops much of the track and the range of na­tive flora species in­creases greatly.

Un­for­tu­nately there are signs of pos­sum ac­tiv­ity but also some bird song. The con­struc­tion of the trail dif­fers from older sec­tions, be­fore the river trails were part of the national cy­cle­way.

The track is much wider and smoother. Most sec­tions are metal and there are no roots pok­ing out un­der­foot. Had I brought my bike it would have been quite a pleas­ant ride.

The track is un­du­lat­ing but there is only one hill to note on this sec­tion.

The scenery changes ev­ery 10 min­utes or so, from farm­land to na­tive bush, to the afore­men­tioned wet­lands.

The sec­tion through the Hui­huitaha Wet­land is a high­light of the new sec­tion of trail

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