Bothamley Park Walkway to Ascot Park - Aotea
Updated: Mar 14
Sunday 13th March 2022
Location: Opposite 20 Champion Street, Porirua 5024
This was a true Adventure Walk :)
We completed this as part of a bigger circuit but wanted to pull it out as a separate walk - 10km is probably enough for your average family :)
This track is awesome because it's buggy and bike friendly too. It's an in/out track so you can walk as far as you want before calling it a day. It has a really gentle gradient and numerous seats to stop at along the way.
The track winds up next to the Kenepuru Stream through regenerated bush and pine forests. The start of the track is open with wide grassy fields and a few access points to the stream that we had to check out.
We then reached the 'real' carpark - the kids stopped to play on some tree branches (as you do) and then we continued on. We didn't see any toilets there.
After the carpark the track enters the regenerated forest. We found lots of pathways that veered off the main route. We didn't find the signage particularly helpful (or present at all really) but we had our All Trails App (the free version) so could always double check which direction the main trail went. The walk was beautiful and we couldn't believe we'd never heard of it.
While at some locations the water looked a bit stagnant other places it was beautiful so we had to stop. Making for a very slow but adventure filled walk.
We discovered a man made waterfall which we could hear before we could see. The kids were desperate to try and walk up it but after some persuasion we all agreed to climb down to its base and ponder it’s existence instead.
Further up the track we came to a fork, if you take a left it will take you to The Dale Pathway (aka the Fairy Garden Walk by Miss 7 - we have another post on this). We went right and continued along the Bothamley Pathway towards Ascot Park.
Here we found lots of pine trees and even a few bivouacs to explore.
There is then another split in the path, this time we took a left (again, it wasn't particularly obvious so we were glad to have our All Trails).
Miss 7 found some fascinating Eucalyptus tree bark - she couldn't believe how beautiful the patterns were or how soft it was to touch.
And then there was The Forgotten Playground of Waihemo Street. We wondered whether there were any forgotten playgrounds in Ngaio or Khandallah or whether councils don't forget those ones (even half the rubber matting had been removed) ...hmm the mysteries of life.
A little bit further up we found dandelions, we discussed how wishes work and then progressed to saving the world one wish at a time.
Another skip and a jump and we came to Warspite Avenue (where you need to cross a road).
On the other side of the road is a giant motor bike, it was challenging to climb but climb it we did.
The trail then runs next to Te Kura Maori O Porirua with signage requesting that you do not walk on the lawn. The kids were fascinated by the carvings.
Finally, we come to the sign that points to Ascot Park. This is the top of the walk.
It has an awesome new playground (with rubber matting ;)), a double flying fox, huge slide, climbing frame, toilets and picnic tables.
After a long stop we started on our walk back to the car. This time the kids decided to avoid the track and instead walk precariously along a cliff face, slippery with pine needles. What could possibly go wrong?
It was a long walk, but the kids never cease to amaze us with their abundance of energy. Running and hiding in the long grass just before we got back to the car (barefoot of course).
Caught up in reflection we discussed how it almost feels like you're on holiday when you're on an Adventure walk. Slowing down to observe the world through the eyes of children makes you realise how much we really miss as adults. There is so much joy to be found in all the little things we miss.
Age of Kids: 7yr and 9yrs
Walking Time: 2-3 hours (but it really depends on how many adventures you have along the way)
Distance: Around 10km return
Buggy Friendly: Yes it's buggy friendly (and bike and running :))
Wet Feet: No unless it's intentional :)
Amenities: There are lots of seats and a toilet at Ascot Park
Dogs: Yes - on lead only
Cellphone Reception: Yes