It'll be at its peak in summer, but for keen conservationists it’s “just fantastic” no matter what the weather.
That’s how many Whitford residents see the new 1.2km Wades Walkway which was officially opened in April and runs along the historic Turanga Creek from Whitford village. At the moment, many locals still regard the new walk as the village’s best kept secret.
The walkway can be entered from the terminal end of Wades Road or off Whitford Road, 50 metres from the roundabout in Whitford Village. The walk will take you about 40 minutes return on foot or half that time by horse.
A glimpse into the history of the walkway
The walkway gently meanders along the water’s edge of the Tūranga Creek, providing a peaceful setting to enjoy strolling or horse riding in the heart of Whitford. The reserve and the surrounding areas have a rich Māori and European history, as well as significant scenic and ecological value.
“The Tainui Waka (canoe), according to traditional Ngai Tai korero (local Iwi proverb), was moored to a large rock in this place, leading to the name ‘Tūranga’ (anchorage or standing place),” says an Auckland Council promotional brochure on the walk.
The name Wades Walkway honours a local family which has farmed in the area since the 1850s. The walk is actually located behind the properties of various family members.
The opening of the walk concludes one part of a substantial effort put in by the Whitford Estuaries Conservation Society which viewed the project as an ecological restoration of the Turanga Reserve.
With the assistance of Auckland Council funding the society removed tobacco and gorse and replaced them with 23,000 native trees.
The area was once home to the grey faced petrel and it is hoped that native plant restoration in the Tūranga Reserve will increase the numbers and diversity of native birds and fish.
You can find more details on the area in the council’s brochure on the project.