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28 January 2007

Nihotupu Dam Road (partial)

This road comes off the Huia Road, but for some distance in it is closed to the public. It is a private road, maintained by Watercare Services.

It joins the Pipeline Road just west of the Lower Nihotupu Reservoir, and continues West until it becomes the Hamilton Track about 2 km further along. Public (pedestrian) access is

  • via the Pipeline Road and the Pipeline Track, or
  • via Slip Track and Pipeline Track, or
  • via the Incline Track or
  • via Hamilton Track.

If you've read my account of the Pipeline Road Track you'll have some idea of the territory.

I came in via the Incline Track. As I joined it, the road to the right headed off uphill towards the Hamilton Track and the left hand bit, level thank God, headed along towards the Pipeline Track.

It's somewhat more pleasant than the Pipeline Road, being narrower and grassier with more lush vegetation generally.

Along the last hundred metres of the Incline Track, and along here too, young rewarewa (Knightia excelsa) are a feature.

And as we round a gentle bend, the rest of the track is laid out before us.

It is hot, I am hungry, and a little impatient to reach the Pipeline Track Junction before I eat. I step up the pace a little, but off to the left is an inviting little road heading towards the stream. In case it is concealing the perfect picnic spot, I check it out.

It's pretty enough, with a burst of montbretia in flower, but underfoot a little damp for picnicking.

This invasive bulb is a garden escape. Its (slightly) more domesticated modern day equivalent is called Crocosmia masonorum, or was last time I looked. I'd say it's spread by winter floods along here, as it's established only by streambeds. It's attractive enough. I remember as a teenager seeing whole clearings full of it at Mayor Island on the site of old houses, long since gone. But it's as hard to get rid of as bulb oxalis, and just as invasive, spreading by seed and by hundreds of small bulblets that form around the parent bulbs each year.

Aah. That looks solid enough to lean my back against. Lunchtime.



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