Walking New Zealand

New Zealand Walk: Branch Road Walkway - once an ancient Maori route

- once an ancient Maori route

-

On the second of November County Fayre Cafe in the Pohangina, Manawatu, hosts an annual public walk down the Branch Road Walkway.

Walkers of all ages are bussed from there starting at 8 30am with other buses at half hour intervals to the top of the walkway which is up the steep rutted gravel Ridge Road to begin the 6ks walk through a mixture of farmland and bush and back down to County Fayre for lunch.

My sister and myself chose this particular one, the reason being that downhill sounded just the ticket for us.

There was a very keen crowd of people of mixed ages keen to experi

ence this popular walkway, some of whom had not heard of it including ourselves until it was advertised.

There were several shuttle buses to take us to the very top of the anticline between the Pohangina and Oroua Valleys on Ridge Road to the start.

Upon reaching the top we were met with a beautiful view over farmland and ranges and met by a lovely local lady by the name of Mary who gave us a very interestin­g talk on the history of this area before we set off for the long walk back down to County Fayre.

Branch Road follows the ancient Maori route, the Ahimararam­a Track from the Hawkes Bay into the Rangitkiei Valley.

In the very wet and cold November of 1848 William Colenso and two Maori guides struggled up the Ahimararam­a Track from Pohangina on the way into Oroua and then up the Rangitikei and across the Mokai Patea to Taupo. After three weeks there they returned to Ahuriri across the Rangitikei Plains.

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 ??  ?? Above : Open farmland.
Below left: Signpost at start of walk.
Above : Open farmland. Below left: Signpost at start of walk.
 ??  ?? Above: View of the farmland steep grade track.. Below left: Into the bush..
Above: View of the farmland steep grade track.. Below left: Into the bush..
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