Trail of the Month - Fensham Reserve

Welcome to our new monthly series highlighting myself and Mr Blackwell's favourite trails. Most months we'll feature bike trials but now and then - as is the case this month - we'll feature our equally favourite kind of trail, a walking trail.

Fensham Reserve

From Greytown, heading north to Carterton, you'll reach the Fensham Reserve trailhead after passing through some wide open Wairarapa farms and lifestyle properties. The drive will have you feeling that you're off to a great start.

There are two entrances to the reserve. The first one off Cobden Road leads directly onto the main Circuit Track. The second entrance is just up the road and along a gravel drive off Upper Belvedere Road and this entrance leads directly to a sunny picnic area.

The Reserve features a single Circuit Track that takes 45 minutes - 1 hour, depending on how many photos you stop to take. And there are lots of reasons to stop for photos.

The first view on the trail if you start the Loop Trail by heading north.

The 50 hectare reserve was a gift to the Royal Forest & Bird Society by John Fensham who wanted it to be a sanctuary for native trees and birds.

If the songs from the birdlife on the day we visited are anything to go by, John's wish has definitely been fulfilled.

We couldn't recognise everything but we heard at least fantails, tui, kereru.

The trails have been well cared for by volunteers and there are built up tracks covering about 35% of the trail.

We describe the effort level of this trail as 'moderately easy' - there are some small hill climbs and descents but nothing that will leave you gasping for air.

The trail would be suitable for keen kids but is not suitable for bicycles or wheelchairs and pets are prohibited so leave the fury kids at home for the safety of the birds.

For a short trail there's an impressive amount of variation including dense areas of young natives, wider parts with more mature trees and a full canopy, as well as this beautiful view from the 'Lookout' side trail that spans right over Carterton and the farms that border the Reserve.

Many of the trees along the trail are labelled to help you identify the ones that catch your eye. Don't be surprised if the allure of a mature totara overcomes you like it did for Mr Blackwell.

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