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Great Rides: Away with the Fairies in Greenhithe & Hobsonville

February 22, 2011
Fairies Crossing

More common than you'd think.

With The Midget Assassin safely entrusted to the fairies at Ivy Cottage it was dad’s chance to escape by bike and have a bit of a nosey around Greenhithe.

My memories of Greenhithe to date were winter mornings spent standing around in the mud, rain lashing at my back as I watched my sons play football. The battleground for such encounters was Wainoni Park which is smack-bang in the middle of Greenhithe.

This park has undergone somewhat of a transformation since my last visit and on this hot summer afternoon was a veritable Garden of Eden. I don’t know how Greenhithe wangles more council funds than the rest of the Shore but the landscaping and planting is quite outstanding, and I’m not usually one to notice such things.

Wainoni Park Entrance

One of the pedestrian entrances to Wainoni Park. Picturesque or what?

Wainoni Park Path

This is a public walkway to a residential street. Unbelievable!

Beautiful gravel pathways provide access to Wainoni Park from the surrounding streets and you glide past horses in their paddocks as you move out towards the newer housing. It’s all very well done and perfect for cycling if you don’t mind the crunch of gravel under your wheels and the odd bump over a drainage grate or two. The more I explored the more I got the impression walking and cycling were top-of-mind with the town-planners involved.

I tootled around the newer suburbs exploring the interconnecting walkways before riding over to the older part of town with it’s open storm-water drains and a bit more character in the housing. There are no footpaths here and the roads are narrower, but on a sunny Sunday afternoon with little traffic it all seemed so bike friendly. I guess it’s as busy as anywhere when Monday rush-hour hits but in the weekend the pace of life seemed a bit slower around here.

After dropping down to the water’s edge on Rahui Rd I climbed up the only significant hill of the afternoon to join the new cycle-path network that leads to the Greenhithe Bridge.

Triathlete

Heading north on the cycle-path towards Greenhithe Bridge. I let him go ;^)

Cycle “path” is a bit of a misnomer, it’s more of a cycle “motorway” and a delight to ride on. On the Western leg it’s a downhill run from the top of Tauhinu Rd to the bottom of the bridge and you could coast the whole way if you chose to. A bit more of a struggle on the return trip East but there’s plenty of stunning views to take in and you’ll still have a smile on your face as you grind up the hill.

The path then flattens-out as you glance across to Herald Island, following the water’s edge until a slight incline takes you up to the overbridge. Still some unfinished construction here but I followed local advice and turned left over the motorway pedaling off towards Hobsonville.

Family Cycling in Hobsonville

Family fun by the Hobsonville Aerodrome. You meet the nicest people on bikes!

Sculptural Playground in Hobsonville

Sculptural Playground in Hobsonville. An amazing place you must visit.

Catalina Cafe

Catalina Café by the Aerodrome. Hey, how about some bike-racks guys?

Cruising along Buckley Ave towards the old Air Force barracks was nice and flat and as you approach the new housing development those with children will want to stop at the playground on the right. Strike that, everyone should stop and and check it out, it’s quite something. Chock-a-block with huge steel sculptures of native plants and seeds, some to be played on, some just to look at, it’s a marvel of art and whimsey not to be missed.

There’s a pleasant looking café further along if you’re in need of refreshment and before you know it you are down the end of the peninsular amongst the old Air Force buildings. I didn’t see a gate, and nobody seemed to mind me having a poke around, but there were groups of Air Force cadets moving about so be respectful of their digs as you pass through.

I was having a great ride, and there was much more to explore, but it was time to head back to Greenhithe and rescue my sugar-deranged four year old from her fairy captors. I packed up my camera, picked up the pace and in a flash I was back over the bridge sitting on a mushroom.

Bravery, Motivation, Discipline.

Torture equipment for the Air Force cadets. I fail all three requirements.

Caution Troops Moving

Not a sign you'd see in most neighbourhoods.

Family fun on the approach to Greenhithe Bridge

Another family heading home to the “Shore” side of the bridge.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Steve permalink
    February 22, 2011 7:32 pm

    I really appreciate your great rides. Always looking for new places to potter round with the girlfriend. Always good to have a preview first for suitability and you present it in a great way. Cheers

    • February 22, 2011 8:21 pm

      Thanks Steve. This one is the least scenic of the lot but it’s always nice to explore a new neighbourhood away from the traffic.

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  1. Duking-it-out on the Greenhithe Bridge « Bike Friendly North Shore

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