Even a storm the size of Australia couldn't deter us from completing this week's run at Totara Park in Manukau. Luckily, this run provides shelter in pockets of native forest, although it was mighty unpleasant in higher places which were exposed to the rain and south westerly gales.
It's an excellent place for all manner of outdoor activities: tennis, swimming, picnicking, walking, horse-riding, mountain-biking, walking the dog, and of course a spot of off-road running.
- Distance: we did about 7 and a half km's but there are definitely more tracks in this park to explore
- Terrain: some big hills on the way back to Redoubt Rd on the Bridle Track... I can't even pretend we ran these!
- Track type and condition: range from big gravel tracks suitable for park maintenance vehicles to nicely maintained bush tracks. All in very good condition
- Mud: just a tiny bit. If you venture onto the grassy bits, prepare to get ankle-deep in it
- Views: on the higher bits there are views (according to the Manukau city website) but today there was nothing to see but imminent rainclouds...
- Novelty: Pretty good - especially for a park in the middle of the 'burbs
- Remoteness: Not really remote at all (and pity about the power pylons overhead in some bits), although some parts feel like you are in the middle of nowhere
- Toilets: At the Wairere Rd end
- Crowd factor: Not crowded and plenty of room for all I imagine, summer or winter
- Watch out for: some menacing-looking bulls in the grassy area we crossed to get back to the bridle track
- Extra for experts: If you're feeling really masochistic, on the way back to Redoubt Rd, do the Bridle Track loop, thereby doing two pretty massive hills