Upper Whau River

We kayaked up to New Lynn yesterday, taking advantage of a high “King” tide.

Last time we explored the Whau River we turned to the right at the Cobham Reserve and paddled up the Wairau Creek. Yesterday we wanted to continue up the main channel.

I had loaded the kayaks on Saturday night, so we had time to eat breakfast and be on the water soon after 8AM. The photo of Felicity ready to leave was taken at 8.16 AM, so not a bad effort! The ramp is at the end of Avondale Road, vehicle access is blocked off with a chain.

There were a few rowers practising in their skulls as we headed up river. One 8-woman craft whizzed by at high speed then parked hard against the right hand bank. We were in the middle of the river, but when I saw the male coxswain waving I veered closer only to get a lecture about how we should be over on the right. I normally consider a metre or so clearance just fine, but I guess you feel differently when you are facing backwards and can’t turn quickly.

We were shocked to see how much of the southern bank of the river was taken up by ugly industrial sites, when there could be hundreds of apartments, all with views to the north across a waterway.

The bridge over Great North Road had a rubbish weir underneath, but we were able to squeeze past and continue almost up to the rail bridge. A fallen tree stopped us a hundred metres short, but we heard a train pass close by.

There aren’t many good landing spots, but we found a place next to a footbridge across to Ken Maunder park. We powdered our noses, stretched our legs, then sat in the shade and ate Xmas cake. The tide was full by now, and some of the grass was under water because it was so high.

Some of the side arms of the river have private boat ramps and jetties, but the use of the river for transport was clearly much greater in the past. Felicity paddled in to somebody’s boat shed, watched closely by a goat standing on the roof.

2 thoughts on “Upper Whau River”

  1. hey potts ,
    as interesting as usual . just downstream from the hiway bridge on great north rd and on the
    northern side is the gay cat house cum sauna . did you notice it .
    and thank you for the blog . it certainly helps keeping me going

    best regards , johnm .

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