Park Island is one of our favourite places for walking Finn. Before the Napier earthquake in 1931, Park Island was a cemetery with access by a road formed across the Ahuriri Lagoon. After the earthquake caused much land to be lifted above sea level, the island became part of the mainland, and today Park Island consists of the old cemetery, as well as a newer cemetery, sports fields, an archery range, and lots of walking tracks. It is a lovely walk along the stream, through the trees, and over the small hills. Finn loves swimming in the stream that runs down one side, and there are always other dogs for him to socialise with.
I love walking around the old cemetery. The weathered headstones hold so much history and it is fascinating to read the names engraved on them, many of which have fallen out of fashion and sadly are no longer used today. There is a sense of peace in the graveyard, surrounded by many lovely trees. A row of evergreen Italian Cypress trees were planted down one side of the graveyard to symbolise everlasting life, and there is a fabulous old yew tree, which, according to folklore, wards off evil spirits and protects the dead.
I love the areas where wildflowers and grasses are allowed to grow untamed.
With the temperatures reaching into the 30s the past couple of weeks, Finn is grateful for a swim in the stream.
As well as pine trees and eucalyptus trees, there are lots of native trees planted all around the grounds. With their berries, fruit, and nectar, they attract native birds such as tui, bellbirds, fantails, and the occasional kereru (New Zealand wood pigeon).
We often go for a walk around Park Island after tea, when it is cooler. It is a pleasant way to walk off our dinner and wind down at the end of the day.