Barry Curtis Park, Chapel Downs, Manukau
Perfect ‘winter’ conditions – clear blue skies and bright warm sunshine. Just right for enjoying a walk around Barry Curtis Park in Chapel Downs, Manukau, by 35 members and friends of Blockhouse Bay’s Ys Walkers group, on one of their monthly ‘away walks’.
At 94 hectares (232 acres) the sheer size of the park was amazing. On arrival the group did a short walk through the playground featuring sculptured artwork of native plants and birds, then along the path where tuis were feeding from the abundant flowering kowhai trees.
A lovely morning tea, then the majority walked across the park to the old church and gravesite (circa 1850) – always a fascinating activity, then on under the Ormiston Road bridge to another area of the park containing several sports grounds. The park has been inspired by natural and cultural patterns such as volcanic geology, an historical pa, defensive fortifications and stonewalls.
The bus provided a hop-on hop-off option allowing walkers to select sections of the walk according to their ability, and even those who chose the shorter option got to visit the old church and other interesting parts.
As the walk around the park was completed slightly earlier than anticipated, Peter Veryt, the owner of ‘Day tours’ and driver for the day gave the group a tiki-tour on the way back through Ti Rakau Drive and the Panmure and Ellerslie townships. For many, the massive changes happening in the city were astonishing and prompted the recollection of memories and plenty of discussion on the way home.
If you’re interested in walking for fun, fitness and flexibility with a really friendly group, the Ys Walkers welcome new members to join them as they walk around the neighbourhood on a Monday or Wednesday morning. They have a rotation of 25 walks plus their monthly half-day away walks, and meet at 8.15am at the Blockhouse Bay Community Centre. Annual club membership is $15 and away walks are also $15.
Contact Basil Williamson on 626-3230 or 027-306-9658, or Pieter de Veld on 626-3381 or 022-301-3623