Friday, 26 May 2017

Percy Scenic Reserve - Explore nature in the city

Explore nature in Hutt city, suitable for everyone from kids to botanists. Pathways take visitors through (mostly) native plantings up to a waterfall and beyond, along the way are many diversions to help keep kids interested in their outdoor adventure.

Percy Reserve Waterfall

Here are some tips for your visit.

Near the entrance by State Highway 2, an area closed off to the public behind this intriguing fence holds an alpine and coastal plant collection. Interested groups can contact the council and request a visit. This is an opportunity to see many different plants - some rare and some unusual and unexpected forms.

Behind this fence is the alpine collection

An alpine daisy in flower

A prostrate kowhai

Extinct in the wild Celmisia 'Managweka'

If you don't have entry into the alpine collection, head on into the park. Some public toilets are tucked in discreetly among the plantings. A rare tecomanthe vine drapes over them.

Tecomanthe flowers

Turn right up toward the duck pond - a chance to stop and look at the ducks for the youngest ones. For older children and adults there is a weta cave.

The weta cave entrance

A torch or mobile phone torch is all you need for a quick explore to see if any cave weta are home. Often there are hundreds on the walls and ceiling.
The waterfall track takes you up past a perfect hill for sliding or rolling down.

A popular hill for a mud slide

And into a gorge. It's not suitable for buggies but most children will enjoy the walk as they hunt for fungi or painted rocks.

There are often fungi on the bank.

And we've seen painted rocks.

Painted rocks left for children to find

Depending on how long you stop to do other things on the way, the walk to the waterfall might take half an hour to an hour one way. Return the way you came and use one of the many picnic tables for lunch.

More information

Official information about the reserve, how to get there, rules and regulations (no dogs or mountain bikes)
Kids on Board blog describing family friendly aspect of Percy Reserve
Greater Wellington Regional Council activity guide for Percy Reserve

What to take
Bring torch for the weta cave and magnifying glass for fungi.
If you want to know more about the plants in the park, bring your own field guide as unfortunately they aren't labelled.