Tales from the Trail
Waitakere Section Official Opening

Joining the Pūwaha and Omau Sections, the Waitakere Section of the Kawatiri Coastal Trail is the third Section to open for users to enjoy. With the Kawau and Tauranga Sections making good progress, it is hoped the four consecutive Sections of Trail will be ready to offer riders 22 km of Trail between Westport and Ōkari Lagoon by mid July, with the full 50 km of Trail due for completion mid 2023.

Starting from the Nile River suspension bridge, the Waitakere Section gently climbs up through lush bush and along to Rotten Row in the Historic gold mining town of Charleston. Trail users can enjoy the tranquil Nile River, with Smalls Beach nearby, a winding trail through native bush, coal seams and expansive views out to the Nile Valley. The alluring scenery in this area includes verdant coastal forest, towering limestone cliffs, canyons, ana (caves), and underground streams.

Take a trip to the historic Charleston Cemetery on Nile Hill as a short detour from the Trail on Cemetery Road. Or visit the nearby Paparoa National Park accessed via Darkies Terrace Road.

Photo Credit: Nomad Audio & Video – Waitakere Nile River suspension bridge

To mark the Official Opening of the 2km Waitakere Section, all are welcome to join the celebrations on Sunday 5 June at Charleston. Opening formalities will commence at 10.00am, a Market at the Charleston Hall is open from 9.30am with food stalls, local crafts, arts and produce available to buy. There will also be live music to enjoy from 11.00am.

To add to the fun, Underworld Adventures are kindly operating discounted train rides, leaving the Upper Nile River Station (at the end of Darkies Terrace Road). Trains will depart at 12.00 & 1.00pm, and cost $5.00 per child and $10.00 per adult. All proceeds will generously be donated to the Kawatiri Coastal Trail Maintenance Fund.

If you’re a history buff, or keen to learn about yesteryear, head along to the Charleston Tavern to experience various displays and talks. At its peak in 1868, during the gold rush, Charleston and the surrounding goldfield had a population of between 8,000 and 12,000. The town boasted 80 hotels, three banks, a library, post office, hospital and fire brigade. There were three schools and three churches alongside a full array of businesses.

By 1878, with over one million ounces of gold extracted from the Charleston Goldfield, the population had plunged to just over 300. Today the sleepy village is rejuvenated with visitors keen to experience what life was like 150 years ago.

Photo: In 1870 the gold bearing black sand at the Southern end of the Nile Mile Beach, attracted the attention of some miners from the Shetland Islands who mined here for 40 years. Remnants of these structures can still be seen on the beach today.

The Trail Trust looks forward to seeing everyone at Charleston on Sunday, and extend a big thank you to Nomad Audio & Video for capturing the day.

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