Bald Knob

Also known as Puketapu/Panekiri Bluff

Bald Knob is a 1155m trig situated on the Panekiri Bluffs, on the 3-4 day Lake Waikaremoana Track, a New Zealand ‘Great Walk’. Although not the highest point on the bluffs (that is at Panekiri Hut, at the 1180m Puketapu), Bald Knob offers great views over lake Waikaremoana and can be bagged in a 6 hour day trip. Panekiri Hut is two hours further walking, for an altitude gain of only 25m, so we have chosen Bald Knob as our offical destination. If you plan to complete the full Lake Waikaremoana circuit, or overnight in Panekiri Hut, you will of course bag the 1180m Puketapu trig on your way.

List Status: Official
Elevation 1,155 m (3,789 ft)
Location/List North Island, New Zealand
Region Bay of Plenty/East Coast
Location Coordinates 38° 47′ 40″ S, 177° 4′ 9″ E
Nearest Town/s Aniwaniwa, Wairoa, Napier, Gisborne
NZ Topographic map/s BG40 Waikaremoana
Range Panekiri Range
Geology Sedimentary
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 6-8 hours (return)
Distance 9.2 km (5.7 mi)
Start/End Points Onepoto Redoubt
Difficulty Help.gif Medium
Track conditions Help.gif Track, Scramble
Season Help.gif All Year
Sights Views, Lakes
Hazards Mist, Exposed track/risk of falling


Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

The tramp leaves from the historic Onepoto ‘Armed Constabulary Redoubt’, and then heads up the first trig, at 964m. It undulates along the ridge before climbing again to Bald Knob at 1155m. You start the walk an altitude of 600m, so the height gain is not as much as many peak bagging trips.

Allow 3-4 hours to reach the Bald Knob summit, and 6 hours for the return journey.

Although classified as a ‘Great Walk’, this is more of a ‘tramp’, than a ‘walk’. There are steep sections with tree roots and mud to negotiate.

Bald Knob itself can be a little tricky to find, as there are no signposts or obvious markers. For this reason, it is a good idea to take a guided tour. Walking Legends operate tours to Bald Knob, and Rob from Walking Legends has kindly provided the following information about locating Bald Knob (thanks also to Aloof Rambler).

“the best kept secret on the lake waikaremoana track! It took me several seasons of guiding before I spotted it. Gleaning info from guides, such as the best spots, is of course a major reason for going guided! That and the fact that you have a lite pack and a glass of wine and delicious meal awaiting you at each hut. It is a little difficult to point out any significant land marks, however I can offer this advice: about one hour from the bluffs look out for a patch of bush on the eastward side of the ridge (and track) that is lower and more wind stunted than the gnarled old silver beech trees elsewhere. A fire went through here years ago. From the track you can look straight out over this stunted region and have quite good views of the Hawkes Bay farmland. From this point you hang a right off the track, walk under the tall beech trees through grass out to the cliff edge, about 30 metres. Viola! There you have it. If you find yourself walking through a water worn trough in the track that is overhead, you have just missed it!” Rob from Walking Legends

Further information on the walk to Bald Knob is available in the Bald Knob forum and at:

Height Profile

Bald Knob-2d.jpg