The reserves previously known as Papamoa Drainage Reserve or Papamoa Stormwater Reserve is now known as Te Ara O Wairakei, with name signs at the street entrances. A later post describes the separate part of Te Ara O Wairakei in Papamoa East.
The walkway and cycleway through Wairakei and Topaz Drive Reserves, described in the previous post, continues through the Papamoa drainage reserve (now known as Te Ara O Wairakei) from Domain Road for about 3.3 km, crossing over several streets, and ending at Pacific View Road. There are side tracks leading to various streets bounding onto the reserve. The track can be walked as part of a loop including Papamoa Beach, or returning to Domain Rd by Papamoa Beach Rd, or as in the walk described here returning by the same route through the reserve.
There are various parking options at the shopping centre on Domain Rd, on Domain Rd itself, or on nearby streets. There are toilets in the Papamoa Plaza and in other locations within the shopping centre. On the one-way walk, but including the longer side track to Oriental Parade walked in both directions, the total time from Domain Rd to Pacific View Rd was about 45 minutes, with a distance of 4 km. Without the side track the distance was 3.3 km, with a time of about 40 minutes.
The walkway/cycleway is shown in the Tauranga Walkways and Cycleways booklet which can be found on the Tauranga City Council web site. Part of the drainage reserve is named in this brochure as Hartford Avenue Reserve, but this name does not appear on any signs along the tracks.
The entrance to the walkway/cycleway off Domain Rd, with the initial part running alongside the back of the Pak’n’Save supermarket, off-picture on the right. Kopukairua is visible in the distance at picture centre.
Houses line the reserve on the southern side of the lake. Papamoa Hills Cultural Heritage Regional Park is in the distance on the far left, with Kopukairua on the right.
The bridge across the lake is at the start of the side track to Oriental Parade.
Looking from Oriental Parade, the concreted track starts to the right of the bridge railing.
The track ends at Gravatt Rd, continuing further along the road through the roundabout on the far left.
The track continues at the edge of the roundabout on the opposite side of Gravatt Rd, at picture centre.
The track is very popular with walkers, joggers and cyclists. Here at the start of the next section starting from Gravatt Rd.
Various side tracks connect the main track to adjoining streets. Not all of them are formed as tracks, but just lead to grassed areas on the other side of the lake.
Part of the lake between Gravatt Rd and Palm Beach Boulevard is used for racing remote controlled yachts.
The distances given on the tsunami evacuation route signs are very specific. From here it’s exactly 1201 metres to the safe area.
Another bridge across the lake, almost hidden by a weeping willow tree.
There are also a few small islands in the lake.
The track crosses straight over Palm Beach Boulevard.
Another island, with some mature eucalyptus trees.
The track crosses straight over Hartford Avenue. The lake ends between Palm Beach Boulevard and Hartford Avenue, with only a drain along the continuation of the reserve.
The track also crosses Evans Rd. Between Evans Rd and Pacific View Rd the drains were being renovated.
The end of the track as it exits onto Pacific View Rd.
The entry on the right to the track, as seen from Pacific View Rd.
The GPS tracklog shows the route taken, including the side track to Oriental Parade. Starting at Domain Rd in the lower right corner, and ending at Pacific View Rd in the upper left corner. Total distance walking the main track only in one direction was 3.3 km, with a time of about 40 minutes. Total time in both directions, including the side track was 1 hour 25 minutes, for a distance of 7.2 km.
The aerial image from Google Maps shows the same area. The track and the lakes are clearly visible.
The track was walked on November 12, 2017. Post updated January 15, 2021 with name change to Te Ara O Wairakei.