Lagoon a hidden oasis within wetland reserve
Exploring Kāpiti Jonathan Thompson
Tucked neatly away on Queens Road in Waikanae Beach, the Victor Weggery Reserve appears simple enough. There’s a 300m stretch of grass — popular for dogs, but they must be on a leash — and a large playground at its southwestern corner. There are multiple play structures: swing sets, a merry-go-round, highrise slides, a dynamic sand play area, even an old-school confidence-course. There’s a keyhole basketball court, a public toilet, and multiple family-friendly seating options. Sounds good, right? But explore a little deeper, and you’ll soon discover concealed walkways to a hidden oasis: the Waimeha Lagoon. Surrounded by wetlands on all sides, the lagoon feels far away from it all. A slight rise on the reserve’s south-western trail gives a marvellous view of the tranquil waters and prevalent birdlife. It’s a calming, reassuring sight, one that reminds us that our feathered friends can very much live at the centre of our communities. A grassy walkway surrounds the lagoon. The simple loop takes 10 or so minutes. To extend your time in the area, try the boardwalk trail that starts about 30m north-east of the playground. The entrance to the trail is somewhat obscured, but spot the newly built bridge and you’ll know you’re on the right path. It twists and turns through dense wetlands that soon screen all views of the surrounding area — a wonderful way to ‘get lost’ in the neighbourhood. Fast-facts: Victor Weggery Reserve can be accessed anywhere along the north-east of Queens Rd, or the corner of Queens Rd and Eruini Street. Alternative access is available between 42 and 42a Waimea Rd. Waimeha Lagoon can be accessed at 38 Waimea Rd, between 64 and 66 Ngapaki Street, between 14 and 16 Fenside Street, and up over the grassy rise opposite 42 Eruini St. Both the boardwalk trail and grassy lagoon loop can be boggy in places. Suitable footwear recommended.