Last week Wednesday walkers left the carpark at rear of the Great Lake Centre, rambling down river along Riverside Park, pausing at the Control Gates. This facility, commissioned in 1941, was planned to regulate the volume of water actively controlled, normally within a range of 1.45m, representing one per cent of the lake’s total.
The group brieflycrossed a formerly open space mid-Nukuhau, now a 19-section development, before descending into one of the Brentwood gullies.
The width and orientation of this waterway leading to the lake edge guarantees water flow, so there’s the equivalent of traffic calming measures, intended to calm water flows.
The speed bumps and chicanes are many areas of our native phormium tenax (New Zealand swamp flax — harakeke) with distinctive long, stiff leaves.
Leaving this gully, a short crossing of Acacia Bay Rd was made then we passed next to the boat park before the bridge crossing again. Bernie on 378 9229 has available details for next week’s walk start point. mature blackwoods was crowded by their prolific off shoots. The stream is spring fed and the water was certainly very clear. Despite this we looked in vain for trout but did see the tiny diversion constructed to protect their spawning pathway up and down the stream away from man made obstacles. In the 1950s a waterwheel and pump was built at this site to provide water to the woolshed and dwellings on the Whangamata¯ sheep station. The original pump can still be viewed as can the non-functional waterwheel which is a replica built by local Kinloch residents. The track follows an area of native planting.
Local residents work to maintain this open area with working bees and ongoing predator trapping. It was a shame to see honeysuckle had escaped from gardens and was blanketing some of the plantings and that a row of nearly 40-year-old kahikatea had been damaged. We escaped home dry and just before the next deluge. Next week is a longer excursion. If you would like to join us or for more information search Taupo Monday Walkers on Facebook, phone David on 027 592 294 or email walkersmonday[email protected]
The water wheel on Kinloch’s Whangamata¯ Stream walk.