Friday, 18 July 2014

Mangaone Walkway - one of the best local bushwalks for family and friends

A short drive from Waikanae, tucked away behind the hills, at the end of the winding Managone South Road is one of the best easy bushwalks on the Kapiti Coast.

Features of this walk that make it a good one to introduce overseas visitors, non-tramping friends, children and grandchildren to the delights of bushwalks.

It starts with a Swing Bridge.

And there are other bridges, including this one which is up in the tree tops.
The path is easy to negotiate because it was once a logging tram track. The logging finished in the 1930s and since then the bush has been regenerating. It's a magical mix of tree ferns, moss and taller trees.
After only an hour or so of walking, you arrive at an large open grassy area. Perfect for a picnic and a paddle in the stream (the Waikanae River).
 In the winter, there are still things to enjoy. Like finding this bizarre Stink horn fungus.
Or seeing the stocky figures of Wheki-Ponga emerging from the mist.

Here's the link to the Department of Conservation description of the Mangaone Walkway. I recommend that for first-time walkers, families and out of town visitors that you walk only as far as the end of the Kaitawa Scenic Reserve (for your picnic and paddle) and then return the way you came. This would take 2-3 hours. The full walkway is a good opportunity for a longer walk if you walk its full length and return, about 5 hours.

Thanks to Sheena Hudson for her kind permission to use photos 12,3 and 5.