I took Alf on a bit of a walk down my memory lane this weekend. I grew up in Massey and back then the suburb which is now West Harbour was just paddocks! There have been more than a few changes and although I am familiar with the area by car & bike decided to explore it on foot. The red line below is about 10km, quite a hike for a little dog!
The starting point was a new pedestrian/cycle bridge which crosses the motorway (hwy16) from near the Wesgate shopping centre. I watched it being built (on my commute home from work) and was curious to see it completed.
The bridge itself is quite impressive but I found the serpentine approach ramp added a real sculptural aspect. I wonder about the colour, is there something significant about yellow?
From there a series of paths and bush tracks form the Manutewhau Walk Reserve. There is some concrete path but mostly it is pretty good gravel, not too muddy, track following the stream towards Moire Road & park.
When you get to Moire Park the track widens, more like a two track gravel road, passing through bush along the stream. It’s not fantastic untouched bush but still a pleasant walk. There is a great PDF Guide for the park, which is huge at about 70 hectares, and walks in the immediate area.
You emerge at Allington Rd, down the bottom end of Royal Rd, where a 600 metre long pedestrian bridge spans the Estuary crossing to West Harbour. Alfie was strange as his occasional fear of heights only emerged about 500 metres across the bridge. He’d been perfectly happy, looking over the side, dashing back and forth then suddenly went all quiet and skulked across the last bit hugging the ground.
The tide was out so the views back up the creek and across to Te Atatu weren’t as good as full tide would bring. It was a nice day though!
From there we climbed the steps to West Harbour Drive and followed the road and coastal footpath around to Luckens Reserve. There are some great views down the harbour towards Auckland City.
As a kid I used to bike from Massey to “Luckens Beach”. Back then “West Harbour” was farm paddocks at the end of a gravel road. Luckens Reserve is now very civilised with a park, playground, toilets and drinking tap (great for the dog after a 5km walk) and formed paths. The beach, on Waipareira Bay, isn’t fantastic especially when the tide is out!
I used to sail out in the bay, before the marina arrived and remember several, often unplanned, stops here when the weather was too rough or calm to venture further out in the bay! I seem to remember more sand than is there today but memory can’t be trusted!
I was going to continue around the coast to the West Harbour Marina, maybe a coffee, but having already walked 5km decided to turn back. We basically retraced the same path home meaning I walked about 10km, Alfie with his constant zigzag pattern even more, by the time we got back to the car.
It’s a nice walk, quite a variety of scenery and a few hills to get the pulse rate up a bit.