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.
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
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.