Fairy Walk: Aotea, Porirua

Having walked every inch of Pukerua Bay, I was desperate to find a new place to take the dog, preferably one that didn’t include a series of vertical inclines. So I did some research online and found a lesser-known path in Aotea (pronounced awa-taya) called Fairy Walk.

Aotea is a suburb just outside Porirua. I drive past it all the time on my way to North City Shopping Mall but I never thought much of it as all it seemed to be was a collection of box-like houses crammed together on a hill overlooking the harbour. I did venture into the outskirts when I took the kids to Adrenaline Forest but other than that, it seemed like just another suburb.

A closer look at Google Maps showed that in actual fact, Aotea backs on to Bothamley Park which Porirua Council fondly calls it’s ‘green heart’. The Fairy Walk would start in Aotea and then connect up with one of the main paths through the forest that runs next to the Kenepuru Stream.

It was mostly flat and mostly shaded. Excellent.

Having satisfied my two most important criteria for walking in warmer weather, I decided that I’d go at the weekend. I asked my daughter if she’d like to come along.

“It’s called Fairy Walk!” I exclaimed, adding that there might be real fairies in the bush if she looked hard enough.

My daughter stared at me for a moment. “I’m eleven, Mum,” she said flatly.

“Oh, right,” I said, with a smile.

On Saturday morning, we pulled into a parking space outside a playground in a small cul-de-sac just off one of the main residential roads of Aotea. As we got out of the car, I scanned around for the sign I had seen a picture of online; the little yellow sign that had ‘Fairy Walk’ printed on it. It wasn’t hard to spot and so we set off in the direction it was pointing to.

Very soon, we came upon a small collection of painted rocks on the ground with another handmade sign pointing down along the path.

The pebbles had clearly been decorated by many different people, some meticulously so. As we carried on walking down the path, we came across arrangement after arrangement of painted pebbles, all carefully curated into themes. Some were at the base of trees, and others had been placed on the bank that lined the path.

Ladybirds sitting outside a beautifully painted marae. Each ladybird has been decorated with spots between 1 and 10 and the Maori word for the number has been carefully inscribed above.
Smurf City!
Grouchy Smurf?
Coffee and kawaii cupcakes…
The Simpsons…
Her Majesty with her good friend Paddington Bear…
I like to call this one Commonwealth Corner
And this one is Anzac Cove
A whole section dedicated to the Tooth Fairy!
I think summer was the inspiration behind this collection although I don’t know why Mcdonalds fries are part of the picnic…
A blessing of unicorns…
This one reminded me of Meg and Mog…
I’m going to call this one Penguins in Scarves
Here’s one for my nephew: Dinosaur Valley
‘It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it…’
I present: Rabbit Corner…
An army of frogs…
My favourite frog of all time…
A little out of place in February…
For all you Bikini Bottom fans out there…
M&M’s with faces…
Welcome to Hedgehog Haven…
All aboard!
An ostentation of peacocks…
Grab a cup of tea at the Bird Café…

The walk itself was very easy as the path was nice and wide with only a few slight inclines. I was genuinely delighted by all the little rock collections as not only were they fun to look but they also seemed to embody a real sense of community here.

My daughter and Daphne

After a while, the path forked and we took the left-hand track down into the forest. I’d read online that Bothamley Park is currently undergoing major refurbishment and that some of the circular routes would be closed off. Sure enough, after a few minutes we came across another fork in the path, where one of the tracks was blocked by a large mental fence. So we had no choice to take the other track which followed the Kenepuru Stream back towards Porirua. I didn’t know how long this path was and so we decided we’d walk for another 15 minutes and then turn around and head back.

It was on the way back that I took all the photos. My phone was on very low battery and so I snapped away as quickly as I could which may account for the blurriness of some of them.

What can I say? I’m no Simon King.


2 responses to “Fairy Walk: Aotea, Porirua”

  1. Love the ‘Themed Rock Art’ (especially the Ladybirds and the Star Ship Enterprise!) and it makes for an interesting walk.
    You’ll have to paint a stone and go back and place it at one of the themed areas 🤣


  2. What a lovely walk!! Can you leave your own painted rock in one of the “communities ” ?


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