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Parks & Open Spaces
~ Ngā papa tākaro

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Marewa Walk

Pergola in Alexander Park looking over the stream.Grade: Easy
Distance: 6.4km

While this is one of the city's longer walk routes, it is possible for those familiar with the intervening streets to break it down into several smaller circuits.

A good starting point is from the pergola overlooking the creek by the Kennedy Road/Douglas McLean Avenue crossing. Facing east, walk to the corner and turn left onto Kennedy Road. Cross the creek and turn left again on Georges Drive. Approaching the first house, follow the footpath leading off to the left along Alexander Park.

The path winds through trees and open spaces parallel with the creek. It then crosses Herrick Street and continues west to Taradale Road, where you turn left and follow the footpath until reaching Riverbend Road. Turn left onto the Riverbend Road Reserve, where an all-weather footpath winds through saplings to Kennedy Road.

Cross Kennedy Road at the pedestrian crossing and follow the footpath that runs parallel with Riverbend Road. At Napier Baptist Church, follow the path to the left across the creek and then right to follow the reserve. (As an option, you may continue straight on from the bridge and visit the Kennedy Park Rose Gardens.)

Cross Latham Street, taking the path onto the Latham Street Reserve and passing to the right of the brick-clad pumping station. The route continues for 1.2 kilometres to join up with Te Awa Park. Turn left at the end and follow the path along Chambers Street - you are now walking along the former course of the Tutaekuri River.

Passing Napier Boys' High School, it is interesting to reflect that pre-1931 the school buildings looked out over a wide stretch of the reed-fringed river. The footpath ends at the school.

Carry on along the reserve, crossing Nuffield Avenue. Keeping to the right bank, follow the open creek - all that remains of the river system. Higher than the left bank, this side was an embankment raised across the Ahuriri Lagoon in 1904 as part of the reclamation of Napier South.

Napier South

Early in its development, it was very obvious that Napier was seriously short of building land. Surrounded by marshy terrain and sea, the town was confined to the Hill and to the land south of there, now the Central Business District.

The proposal to build an embankment and reclaim the area was mooted in 1901, and work started in 1904. Using a steam-powered suction dredge, silty water was pumped from the lagoon into an enclosed area. Here the silt settled and built up to form a firm foundation.

Sales of sections began in 1908, and house building was underway by 1910.

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