Posted by: Gregory | April 20, 2015

Traveller impressions of Porirua

My French is incredibly rusty, but I did manage to get a strong sense out of this French travellers’ blog post before looking up a translation.

On est un peu déconcertés par la situation mais il semblerait bien que la gare soit située bien loin du centre ville et des quartiers résidentiels. Encore une fois, on se rend compte du côté indispensable de la voiture dans le pays.

When you first arrive at Porirua station, you’re left with a bit of a hike to the town centre. After crossing the stream, you’re greeted by a reasonably large parking lot. Not at all inviting. This reminded the travellers just how much of a car dependency New Zealand has created.

While this may seem perfectly fine to the local who does a weekly shop and typically makes the road commute day after day, just wanting it to go as fast as possible, this is off-putting to tourists and suppresses walking, often as a vicious circle. Sometimes we need a reminder that cars are just tools and not always the best tool for a job.

[tweet https://twitter.com/WalkableDFW/status/587929813995782145]

Coming back to the traveller blog:

On ne va pas se le cacher : ce n’est pas très folichon, et au final, on en fait vite le tour. Nous décidons du coup de nous aventurer un peu plus loin et partons en direction d’un lagon, repéré la veille sur internet par Mickaël. Et pour se faire, quoi de mieux que de prendre l’unique chemin pédestre qui y mène, à savoir juste à côté de l’autoroute ! Et oui, le piéton n’est vraiment pas prioritaire chez les Kiwis !

29MAR2015_007

Coucou les voitures à 100km/h !

I had to look up folichon since Google’s translation failed on it. It wasn’t a fun walk, although I’m not sure which part of the walk she’s referring to, or even the town centre, since they’re heading off to Aotea Lagoon in the next sentence, and quickly mocking the footpath along the SH1. She’s right in that Kiwis don’t really prioritise pedestrians.

I can only assume that the path they took was similar to this one.

From Porirua station, it’s about a half hour walk to the lagoon, with some of it quite exposed to the elements. There’s a roughly equivalent walking journey between Paremata Station and the lagoon, differing by a couple hundred metres, but no less exposed.

For those less inclined to walk, bus route 236 connects the lagoon with both Porirua and Paremata stations, although the route varies through the day and through the week. Be sure to study the schedule before depending on a bus to access the lagoon.

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Responses

  1. Thanks for the mention! 🙂 And you are right, the first path is the exact one we took to get to the lagoon! Kinda scary when you’re on foot and walk right next to the SH1, but we eventually made it through!

    • I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone on that path, but I’ve seen walkers and runners along SH2 between Wellington and Petone.


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