It’s raining outside, a lot. There’s flooding up north, and more rain is on the way. The sun seems to have forgotten us, and winter has reclaimed our sunny bay. So, let me take you for a winter wander, when the sun did shine, endlessly, when it was too warm for a coat and blue was the colour of the day.
Ahuriri Estuary is on the northern outskirts of Napier. It’s an easy walk of about an hour and the path is family friendly. You can bring your dog as long as she’s on a lead. Despite this restriction our Phoebe loved coming here, right til the end. This was our first wander without her.
Part of the walk connects to the Hawkes Bay cycle way, which takes you to the beach or to wineries—you choose.
We were keen on a longer walk and we took the path beneath the expressway that gives access to the less frequented part of the estuary. Channels were incorporated into the design of the expressway to allow for the tidal flow.
At last, people! These kids were having a great time and, as you can see, they didn’t need to worry too much about who else was on the path. It was just them and us.
We continued on, through a stand of eucaplytps, until we reached a large area, populated with hundreds of birds.
No matter how stealthy I was, those birds turned their backs whenever I approached. I should have taken Perelincolors advice and brought some food. Although, on second thoughts, perhaps not. With so many birds I might have created a new scene for the Hitchcock classic. (I watched that movie when I was a kid, at home—alone. It changed the way I thought about birds, forever.)
But, if you’re a keen twitcher this is the place for you. The estuary attracts a variety of migratory birds, including wry bills, royal spoonbills, and bar-tailed godwits. The godwits will be arriving back in New Zealand over the next few weeks. Now, they’re a bird that fascinates me. They make the longest known non-stop flight of any bird, flying the approximately 12,000 miles from Siberia to New Zealand over eight days. They lose up to half their body weight during the journey. That’s a keen traveller for you.
Although it was the afternoon and only a couple of ks from the centre of town, looking inland it seemed as if we were in the middle of the country-side. Except for the ubiquitous lines connecting us to the grid.
For more walks from around the world visit Jo
Jo’s in Poland at the moment but she’ll be back soon.