Sunday 13th March 2022
Location: 20 Conclusion Street, Ascot Park, Porirua 5024
We actually completed this as part of a bigger circuit but wanted to pull it out as a separate walk because even by itself it's got enough panache to be it's own Adventure Walk (with a capital A).
We started at Ascot Playground - it's definitely worth a stop there, it has a double flying fox and a big slide which you can only access via a climbing frame, the kids thought this was the business.
We were a little confused about how to get to the Conclusion Walkway so ended up basically walking around the whole field :) - but for future reference, if you face towards the sports field it's to your left up on the hill.
This is a really well maintained track, which weaves it's way up the hill. Every now and again you get a glimpse of the inlet on your way up.
It was a hot afternoon and Miss 7 was starting to melt so she did the wet hat trick (shared below :P)
Oh and wow! so much treasure to be found. Who would have thought that Ascot would have it's own source of diamonds, just lying around for little people to find.
The track wasn't very well marked (or marked at all for that matter - if we didn't have our All Trails app we would have had no idea where we were) there were lots of tracks that veered off to the left. One of them we took without consulting All Trails (it looked like a serious track) and we ended up taking a prickly trail to get back down, all part of the adventure…
More treasure - this time in the form of a snail shell. This was gently popped into Mums pocket for safe keeping. To the dismay of Miss 7 she later discovered that Mums ability to safely care for snail shells was somewhat lacking (the disappointment on that little face is still haunting Mums dreams).
Once we’d made our way around to the west side of the hill the views really opened up and it now included Porirua Harbour and Mana Island. It was an amazing day so we stopped to adore the scenery and rehydrate.
We needed All Trails again to find the track as the only sign was one saying a track was being worked on (you can see in the photo below Mum standing next to the entrance of the track). The tracked turned out to be an amazing little jaunt down the hill, through bush and along the belt until we popped out on Whitford Brown Ave right next to the Countdown.
We had a mandatory stop at the Countdown for ice creams, the selection was a bit meager but that was COVID's fault not Countdowns. We then nipped down an alleyway opposite to Abel Glenn and on to the Dales Reserve playground where we hastily consumed our ice creams.
From Dales Reserve we meandered down the Dales Pathway which turned out to be a fairy garden walk so Miss 7 fizzed. We described the fairy garden in a lot more detail in the Dales Pathway post so have a read there. Needless to say it was exciting for the kids and pleasant for the adults.
Once we left the fairy garden we crossed a small blue bridge over a little stream which was begging the kids to dip their toes in, we decided it was not the right time and continued on our adventure. Finding blackberries and inspecting apples on an apple tree further up the track. The blackberries were great but there was a universal decision that the apples were best left for the birds.
To complete the loop from here we hung a left over the bridge, there were a number of exists to our right but we think they were all alternative access points (and won't take you very far). Essentially we just stuck with the main trail until we reached a fork where we took a clear left. This is where the loop joins the top of the Bothamley Park Walkway (we have another post on this).
As you walk up alongside the stream there is a sizable area of regrown native bush to the left and a playground to the right, we stopped there for a quick breather.
Over Warspite Ave and down the final stretch of the track, passing the Te Kura Maori O Porirua you arrive back at Ascot Park playground and carpark.
This was a fantastic loop track we only stumbled upon through All Trails and asking each other, 'I wonder where that track goes?'. We would fully recommend it as it was a great adventure for the kids.
It just needs some more signage :)
Age of Kids: 7yr and 9yrs
Walking Time: 2 hours (or longer, depending how often you stop and how long you play in the playgrounds/stop and inspect the fairy walkway :))
Distance: 7.5 km
Buggy Friendly: Not the Conclusion Walkway but both the Dales and Bothamley Pathway's are (see our other posts on these)
Wet Feet: No (unless you go looking for it)
Amenities: There is a toilet at Ascot park, lots of places to sit down and a Countdown along the way too (if you need ice creams)
Dogs: Yes - Lead Only
Cellphone Reception: Yes