Major Drive, Field of Dreams and the Forgotten Highway - Pareraho Forest Belmont/Kelson
Updated: Nov 13
Sunday 5th Nov 2023
Location: The bottom of Major Drive, Kelson, Lower Hutt 5010
On a summery Sunday morning we set off with five kids in tow. Starting at the Speedy's Reserve carpark at the bottom of Kelson, we ducked through the first bit of forest and cautiously crossed the creek. This first crossing was pretty straight forward, hopping over the well placed cinder blocks. The only victim was fortunately in crocs :)
Master 5 ponders... perhaps you die if you fall in?...now the real adventure begins.
We turn right at the first intersection and head towards the Confluence Picnic area. The track follows a cliff, we made sure that someone was always holding Master 5's hand as there was a bit of a drop-off.
We arrived at the Confluence Picnic area within 10 minutes and stopped for a play. The kids loved it. Bliss!
Rather than swinging over the ropes, as we did on our last blog (which takes you up to Rocking Horse Hill), we crossed the steam by the picnic table and headed towards the fabled Field of Dreams. This creek crossing claimed two more victims. Neither seemed too bothered :)
This track was stunning! It weaved through lush New Zealand bush following a creek bed. One by one the number of soggy shoes grew, until there were just two pairs of dry feet left. Embracing the adventure, those with wet feet had a whale of a time. Those not, were committed to hopping over the rocks.
We looked for eels, threw rocks and found the skull of what looked like a deer. Best Walk Ever! The cousins ask if they could please do more walks with us.
The Field of Dreams is about 15min up the track. Like the Confluence Picnic area, it is a charming little glade, walled in by bush. We stopped at the picnic table here and had morning tea. We felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. All we could hear was the sound of the creek and the birds.
Master 5 decided to climb a rock and squealed in delight when he found a love heart.
Luckily it was stuck! - so should still be there for the next kid to enjoy.
Silly photos were a must! - check out that bush!
With no destination in mind except adventure, we noted that there were orange triangles across the creek that said, '4 Square' and 'Forgotten Highway'. Both sounded intriguing, one because we didn't know what a 'bush highway' was, and the other because it sounded like ice cream.
The track started to climb, but we were in great spirits so there were no complaints. We found a lookout where we sat down and counted the birds.
Every trap we found (and there were a lot) we had to stop to check if anything had been caught, Master 5 was very curious. Jackpot! we finally found a dead mouse.
At the top of the hill, we hit a wider path and took a right towards the 4 Square, ready for our late morning victory ice cream.
Disaster. The 4 Square. Was. Closed.
Mutiny was in the air, luckily Mum remembered that there were lollies in the bag, narrowly escaping disaster.
From there, we could have either taken the road back down to the car or retraced our steps. We put it to a populous vote and the answer was unanimous, our feet were already wet, and the walk had been so much fun. So we walked back down to the Field of Dreams.
By now, everyone was committed to wet feet, so we decide to skip the track and follow the stream down to the Confluence Picnic area.
After another quick snack, we headed back along the cliff track to the car. Wet shoes came off and we had 5 happy, chatty kids in the car.
Again, Pareraho you have outdone yourself! The most spectacular local reserve, so many hidden treasures. Can't wait to come back.
(Thanks to all the locals who have made this such a special place)
Age of Kids: 2x 11yr, 10yr, 8yr, 5yr
Walking Time: 1:30 hours
Distance: 4.2 km
Buggy Friendly: No this is a bush track
Difficulty: Medium, lots of little stream crossings
Wet Feet: Yes, there are quite a few stream crossings with slippery rocks :)
Amenities: There are loads of seats, places to stop but no toilets.
Dogs: On Lead
Cellphone Reception: Yes