Sunday, January 17, 2010

Turitea Explorer

Forest and Bird are running another wonderful series of summer bus trips, and today I joined their Turitea Explorer trip. This provided a rare opportunity to go inside the Turitea Reserve, where the city water reservoirs are, holding water from the Turitea Stream catchment. We were joined in the reserve by two PNCC men who work there, one an expert in the pest control that is leading to revitalisation of the bird life in the reserve, and the other who knew about the dam side of things.This first photo is from just above the lower water supply dam, where a smaller amount of water is stored ready to go to the treatment plant.
It was supposed to be raining, but we just had a few light bursts of spitting, and the reflections on the reservoir lakes were lovely in the millpond calm. (Meanwhile in Wellington and New Plymouth, terrible gales were blowing....)
This 'unremarkable' looking structure is actually the remnant of a weir that the very early citizens of Palmerston North used to help store their water supply.
We even had the opportunity to climb up the upper dam, and this is the view looking down to the stream below....
And this is the view from on top of the Upper Dam itself. You can see what lovely native forest is in the reserve.
This photo is from the bottom of the top dam, looking up to where all that water is stored...
We had several Turitea Road residents on our trip, and as quite a heavy shower coincided with lunchtime, one generously offered his residence as a lunch spot. A bit of a climb up the road was involved at first- this was an old training ground of mine.... We had beautiful views out from his property. Then we took a wander through his pine forest, which has been planted with the pines far enough apart that native forest can regenerate underneath, and the growth of native trees was quite remarkable. (Apparently a lot of the seed has been bird-borne from the nearby reserve.)
I loved the remarkable colours of this fungus that was growing on a fallen branch.
Next on the day's agenda was a walk along some of the Green Corridor that is being developed along the banks of the Turitea Stream. Again we had a knowledgeable participant from this endeavour to talk to us and explain what is going on. He knew exactly where we were going to see some eels...
And finally, we were lucky that he had gone to the trouble to prepare afternoon tea for us, which we all enjoyed beside the stream.
It was a lovely day's outing, and I thank all those in Forest and Bird who organised it.


  1. An awesome day out.

    And what kind Palmerstonians!

    Thanks for sharing this Kiwi!

  2. There were a whole lot of kind Palmerstonians who gave their time for this trip Tom. I have been on some wonderful trips with Forest and Bird.