No flow­ers at the Flow­ers

Af­ter a strug­gle to find Flow­ers Track at Sum­ner, Steuart Laing fi­nally suc­ceeds and dis­cov­ers the search is worth it.

The Press - Escape - - TRACKS -

My first at­tempt to find Flow­ers Track failed and I end­edu­pat a se­cluded seat be­yond the boat­shed on Day’s Har­bour, Scar­bor­ough. A quiet al­cove con­ducive to med­i­ta­tion didn’t suit my mood, so I turned back.

To find the track, prom­e­nade from the Es­planade at the Scar­bor­ough Clock Tower along He­ber­den Av­enue to a point 20 me­tres past the first hair­pin bend where aweather beaten sign marks the tran­si­tion to a zigzag climb.

Most of Christchurch’s pop­u­la­tion lives on drained swamps but Scar­bor­ough in­hab­i­tants perch on basaltic lava flows like the nearby cliff-nest­ing gulls. As the track gains al­ti­tude it passes an eclec­tic as­sort­ment of homes. The big­ger houses en­joy ocean views and ac­cess drive­ways whereas houses fur­ther back may have nei­ther. A fit look­ing man scur­ried past me hug­ging bak­ery bread and bot­tles of wine. In this sub­urb, a mid-party foray to col­lect gro­ceries would be much harder than for a flat­lander. Per­haps, the hill­side res­i­dents of Scar­bor­ough vict­ual in a more dis­ci­plined way than those of us who can eas­ily drive to the su­per­mar­ket.

Don’t ex­pect to find a bunch of flow­ers on your walk be­cause the track wasn’t named for its flo­ral of­fer­ing but rather, Arthur Ed­ward Flower, a no­table Christ’s Col­lege sci­ence mas­ter. The track­side plants re­flect an al­most frost-free cli­mate, in­vig­o­rated by fresh on­shore winds from Pegasus Bay. Many plants have their prove­nance in ex­otic, warmer lo­ca­tions.

The po­hutukawa trees de­rive

Pho­tos: STEUART LAING

The re­ward: All as­pects of the hill­side sub­urb are re­vealed by the view from the

There it is: The en­trance can be hard to spot for first time track walk­ers.

So steep: Reg­u­lar track­go­ers must surely de­velop strong legs.

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