32 - Wigzell - Fairfield
A pleasant walk through well-treed residential areas, with interesting history and views.
Time: 1 - 1 1/2 hours
Area: South Nelson
Note: Dogs are not allowed on the Nelson College for Girls playing field but if you skirt around that Rover can come too!
Start Location: Your starting point is Wigzell Park in Alfred Street.
Walk up through the park and turn right into the little lane which runs along the side of Hampden Street, down to the bottom of the hill and left along Waimea Road where you can cross on the pedestrian traffic signals, and backtrack to continue along Hampden Street between Hampden Street School and Nelson College.
Cross Ngatiawa Street, turn left into Ngatitama Street, then right into Endeavour Street. The names Ngatiawa/ Ngateatiawa and Ngatitama represent two of several local iwi (Te Atiawa/Ngati Tama) from the Nelson region.
Walk on to the end of the road, take the centre track of the three options and follow it around behind Fairfield House. This property, now open for community use, was built by Maria and Arthur Atkinson: she worked for women's education while he was a Nelson MP and astronomer. With permission from the caretakers you can climb the tower where Arthur's telescope was mounted. There are several walking tracks around Fairfield and the lower Grampians which you can take time out to explore.
From the bottom of the driveway cross Trafalgar Street South to Fairfield Park. This was one of Nelson's early cemeteries and has old headstones which tell stories of the hard lives of the early settlers.
Head for the lower left corner of the park near the children's playing area. Emerge onto Brougham Street, turn right into Rutherford Street and walk on down to the pedestrian crossing by Nelson College for Girls. Cross Waimea Road and backtrack past the Snows' Hill antique shops. Cross the Nelson College for Girls playing field (entrance just past no. 12 Waimea Road), turn left into Renwick Place and walk to the end of the street where there are several driveways, but only one walking path (between no. 5 & 66), which is your route up the hill to Kawai Street. Take a left turn back down the hill, turn right into Hampden Street, where by now you are ready for a rest on one of the seats in Wigzell Park.