New Zealand Walk: River di­ver­sion lead to a coun­try park

Walking New Zealand - - Contents -

Only five min­utes drive from Hast­ings and 15 min­utes from Napier on the Pakowhai Road, on Hast­ings side of the Ngaruroro River. is the Dou­glas Walker Me­mo­rial Walk.

A walk through the park from the stop­bank en­trance serves as a me­mo­rial to Mr Doug Walker, who was Chair­man of Hawkes Bay Re­gional Coun­cil 19921996 when he led the de­vel­op­ment of much of the flood pro­tec­tion work on the Here­taunga Plains .

The park was de­vel­oped in the for­mer

bed of the Ngaruroro River which was di­verted 500m north in a large flood pro­tec­tion pro­ject com­pleted in 1969. The Rau­pere Stream now flows un­der the old river bridge near the en­trance to the park.

The park was cre­ated by The Land­care Foun­da­tion in the 1970s, with sup­port from a group known as Friends of Pakowhai Coun­try Park who still get in­volved in plant­ing and other projects.

Paved park­ing pro­vides ac­cess through a gate to un­paved path­ways and open grass ar­eas (note that some ac­cess may be dif­fi­cult for prams and wheel­chairs). Fea­tures in­clude an is­land, wet­land, bridges, picnic ta­bles. There is no overnight camp­ing avail­able.

Dogs are wel­come and the park is a pop­u­lar dog ex­er­cise park, where dogs are per­mit­ted to be off leash but must be un­der the con­trol of their own­ers. Dog waste bag dis­pensers are in the park and own­ers must re­move waste.

Many of the na­tive trees were planted by vol­un­teer com­mu­nity groups and schools and there is also a small forestry block.

Pakowhai Coun­try Park has been en­hanced so that peo­ple can en­joy the coun­try­side within easy dis­tance of Napier and Hast­ings and it has good views across or­chards, river and farm­land. Casual paths criss­cross the Rau­pare Stream over bridges built by HBRC staff as a team build­ing ex­er­cise.

Pakowhai Coun­try Park - A Brief His­tory. A book about the park and its his­tory is avail- Op­po­site page top: A group on the shaded part of the walk. Op­po­site page mid­dle: Some­one spots fruit on a tree. Op­po­site page be­low pho­tos: To do the loop there are two foot­bridges to cross. Above: This is a pop­u­lar walk for fam­i­lies. Be­low: A busy day on the Doug Walker Me­mo­rial Walk.

able for pur­chase from HBRC - $20.

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