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Boulder Hill

Boulder Hill Summit

Boulder Hill Summit

Wellington’s Belmont Regional Park, the hike up Boulder Hill passes through regenerating native bush, before emerging on to farmland and an atmospheric summit covered in large boulders.

List Status Official
Elevation 442?m?(1,450?ft)
Location/List North Island, New Zealand
Region Wellington
Location Coordinates 41? 9′ 8″ S, 174? 56′ 14″ E
Nearest Town/s Lower Hutt, Wellington
LINZ Topographic map/s BP32 Paraparaumu
Geology Sedimentary
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 2 hours (return)
Distance 2.6?km?(1.6?mi)
Start/End Points Kaitangata Crescent, Kelson
Difficulty Help.gif Easy
Track conditions Help.gif Path, Track
Season Help.gif All year (may be closed for lambing Aug-Oct)
Sights Views , Views of Lower Hutt and Porirua
Hazards High winds , muddy and slippery

Getting There

By Car From SH2 drive north from Lower Hutt City Centre, or south from Upper Hutt. Turn into the suburb of Kelson and drive up Major Drive. When you reach Kaitangata Crescent, turn left and follow the road almost to its very end. Just before the road end, there is a carpark for the walk on your left.

Public Transport The suburb of Kelson can be reached by the Lower Hutt bus system (Number 150). This bus stops on Major Drive near Kaitangata Crescent. From the bus stop you will need to walk the remaining distance to the Kaitangata Crescent carpark (approx 20 minutes). See MetLink

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

From the carpark, walk a few steps up the tar-sealed access road toward the start of the walk. Turn right and start on up the track. The walk goes uphill through re-generating bush. It is an easy climb on a well formed track. From the track there are good views back into the Hutt Valley.

After a period of hiking up the hill, the track goes downhill for a short way before coming to a gate, which you must pass through. Ensure that you close the gate behind you after you have gone through. Signs point the way to Boulder Hill, so follow the signs and take the left-hand turn up the 4wd track. (Turning right will take you to Dry Creek – an alternative starting point).

You are now walking on private farmland, so take care to stay on the track. The regenerating forest has gone now, and the track continues upwards through paddocks. In places the track can be muddy and swampy after rain, so be prepared to possibly get your feet wet.

You will reach a stile, which you must cross, and a short distance from the stile is the summit of Boulder Hill marked by a number of large rocks. From the summit there are panoramic views of the Hutt, and the coastline on both sides. In windy weather the top of Boulder Hill can be quite blustery so it is wise to take warm clothing with you to put on.

Return to the carpark the same way you came up.

Route Options

Other options for Boulder Hill include starting at Dry Creek near the SH2 and SH 58 (Haywards Hill) intersection (accross the road from Manor Park Railway Station). From Dry Creek you could either do a return trip to Boulder Hill, or you could come down via Kaitangata Crescent (with alternative transport arranged).

The track from the top of Boulder Hill also connects with Belmont Trig, so it is possible to approach Boulder Hill from this direction also.

Height Profile

Boulder Hill-2d.jpg

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Belmont Trig

Belmont Trig is the highest point in Wellington’s Belmont Regional Park, which lies between Porirua and the Hutt Valley. The park contains many points of historic interest (e.g. Korokoro dam, WW2 ammunition stores, and an old coach road), as well as magnificent views over greater Wellington. The park is also home to Boulder Hill, and it is possible to perform a double peak bagging in a single day walk along the hills.

List Status Official
Elevation 457?m?(1,499?ft)
Location/List North Island, New Zealand
Region Wellington
Location Coordinates 41? 11′ 0″ S, 174? 52′ 26″ E
Nearest Town/s Lower Hutt, Wellington
LINZ Topographic map/s BQ32 Lower Hutt
Geology Sedimentary
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 2-3 hours (return)
Distance 7.5?km?(4.7?mi)
Start/End Points Stratton St, Maungaraki
Difficulty Help.gif Easy
Track conditions Help.gif Track
Season Help.gif All year
Sights Views , Views of Lower Hutt, Porirua, Wellington
Hazards High winds , Changeable Weather

Google Earth Map

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NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

There are many options for reaching Belmont Trig:

  • Stratton St – This is shortest and quickest option for bagging Belmont Trig. You simply leave the Stratton St carpark, and follow the track up to the trig.
  • Oakleigh St – 4 hours – This track leaves the Oakleigh Street park entrance, descends to the Korokoro Dam, and then climbs via Baked Beans Bend to the Belmont Trig (457m).
  • Cornish St – Korokoro Stream Track – 3 hours – If you wish to bag the trig from near sea level, you can follow an old steel pipeline up the Korokoro Valley.
  • Cannons Head Track – 4 hours – From the Porirua side of the Belmont hills, you can enter at the Cannons Creek Lake Reserve, climb to Takapu Road, and then connect with the ridge track that links Belmont Trig and Cannons Head.
  • Puke Ariki/Haywards Korokoro Traverse – 7-8 hours – For a full day walk (on which you can also bag Boulder Hill), you can start from the Dry Creek ?Haywards? park entrance, and walk along the tops all the way Belmont Trig, before heading down the Korokoro Valley and to Cornish St in Petone. To do this walk, you can park at the Petone train station, then take the Hutt Valley line to Manor Park station to start your walk back up and over the hills. Be warned however, a good map and navigation skills are recommended for this trip, as there are a maze of tracks in Belmont Park, and not all are signposted. You may well end up descending at some point well before you want to!

You can read more details on all of these tracks at Belmont Regional Park Walking and tramping tracks.

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Baldy, Mt

Situated just above Te Rereatukahia Hut, Mt Baldy is a tussock covered peak on the ridgeline of the Kaimai Ranges. Although there are higher peaks nearby, Mt Baldy is the most accessible, and provides tremendous views across the Hauraki Plains to the west, and over the Bay of Plenty to the east.

List Status Official
Elevation 735?m?(2,411?ft)
Location/List North Island, New Zealand
Region Bay of Plenty/East Coast
Location Coordinates 37? 35′ 1″ S, 175? 49′ 37″ E
Nearest Town/s Katikati, Tauranga
LINZ Topographic map/s BC35 Paeroa
Range Kaimai
Geology Volcano
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 6-8 hours (return)
Distance 9.0?km?(5.6?mi)
Start/End Points Hot Springs Road, off SH 2 (just south of Katikati)
Difficulty Help.gif Medium
Track conditions Help.gif Path, Track
Season Help.gif All year
Sights Views , Views to Hauraki Plains, Tauranga, Mt Maunganui & Mayor Island; Te Rereatukahia Hut

Google Earth Map

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NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

The circuit from Hot Springs Road to Mt Baldy and back to Hot Springs Road can be done in either direction, or as a simple return journey. If you prefer a steeper ascent, and a gentler descent, then following the walk anticlockwise is recommended.

The track to Te Rereatukahia Hut is 50 m before the road-end carpark. You drop down to a river which you have to cross, then follow the track to a stand of kauri trees. After the stand, the track gets steeper, and then undulates across a series of saddles. The track meets a junction and becomes the main track, then climbs to the ridge-top and the Rereatukahia Hut (2-3 hours).

Follow the main track until you reach a side track on the right which leads to Mt. Baldy. The track may be overgrown, so you may have to push through some vegetation. The vegetation becomes tussocky and eventually you reach the summit of Mt. Baldy. Great views of the Kaimai Range and the Bay of Plenty can be seen from this viewpoint.

At this point you can simple return the way you came, or complete the loop by continuing to follow the main north-south track. Eventually you reach a four-way junction where you join the Tuahu Track which leads you back to Hot Springs Road.
If you are keen, at the four-way junction (where you join Tuahu Track) you can also do a 30 minute side trip up Kakarahi Knob (641 m).

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References

101greattramps-cover.jpg 101 Great Tramps in New Zealand, Mark Pickering and Rodney Smith, Reed Publishing NZ Ltd. (2004), See pages 046-047

Arete

Traditionally one of the highest points on the formidable ‘Northern Crossing’ of the Tararuas, Arete can be bagged in a return journey if you prefer (although there is little to be gained by doing so). Any trip to the tops of the Tararuas can be a difficult undertaking for the average tramper, but in clear, still weather (which is rare), a trip to the summit of Arete is highly rewarding.

List Status Official
Elevation 1,505?m?(4,938?ft)
Location/List North Island, New Zealand
Region Wellington
Location Coordinates 40? 44′ 47″ S, 175? 26′ 2″ E
Nearest Town/s Levin, Eketahuna, Masterton, Wellington
LINZ Topographic map/s BN34 Shannon
Range Tararuas
Geology Sedimentary
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 2-3 days (one way)
Distance 34?km?(21.1?mi)
Start/End Points Putara Rd/Poads Rd
Difficulty Help.gif Very Hard
Track conditions Track
Season Help.gif Oct to Apr
Sights Views , Tararua tops
Hazards Alpine weather, Mist, High winds, Exposed track/risk of falling

Google Earth Map

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NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

Although it would be possible to bag Arete on a return trip, you may as well take the opportunity to complete an entire crossing of the northern Tararuas from east to west. This is because Arete is located smack bang in the middle of the most direct Northern Crossing route, which starts from Putara Rd on the eastern side, and ends at Poads Rd on the western side. Once at the Arete summit, you could return back down to Putara Rd, but the distance is roughly the same down to Poads Rd, so there is little to be gained by backtracking.

The most direct Northern Crossing route starts from Putara Rd, passes Herepai Hut (10 bunks), then heads up onto the Dundas Ridge, Dundas Hut (6 bunks), and Dundas trig (1500m). The route then continues along the ridge and up the tussock slopes of Arete (1505m). From the summit, the route descends via Te Matawai Hut (20 bunks) and Waiopehu Hut (18 bunks) and finally out at Poads Rd. Shaun Barnett, in his book ‘North Island Weekend Tramps’, gives a comprehensive description of this route over Arete, and as much of it is unmarked, we advise consulting it for detailed directions! See North Island Weekend Tramps, Shaun Barnett, Craig Potton Publishing (2002) pg 123.

The timings for this route are as follows (thanks to ‘North Island Weekend Tramps’)?:

  • Putara Rd to Herepai Hut – 2 hours
  • Herepai Hut to Dundas Hut – 5 to 7 hours
  • Dundas Hut to Arete – 3 hours
  • Arete to Te Matawai Hut – 2.5 hours
  • Te Matawai Hut to Waiopehu Hut – 3 hours
  • Waiopehu Hut to Poads Rd – 3 hours

Height Profile

Arete-2d.jpg

Weather and Webcam Links

External Links

References

Weekendnorth-cover.jpg North Island Weekend Tramps (Bird’s Eye Guides), Shaun Barnett. (2008), See pages?123-126

Auckland, Mt

Despite its name, Mt Auckland is not located in the heart of Auckland city itself. Nevertheless , Mt Auckland is one the Auckland region’s highest baggable peaks, and the summit provides panoramic views of Kaipara Harbour and Hoteo River estuary. A climb up Mt Auckland peak makes a great half day tramp.

 

List Status Official
Elevation 305?m?(1,001?ft)
Location/List North Island, New Zealand
Region Auckland
Location Coordinates 36? 26′ 43″ S, 174? 27′ 20″ E
Nearest Town/s Warkworth, Auckland
LINZ Topographic map/s AZ30 Kaipara Harbour
Geology Sedimentary
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 1.5 hours (return)
Distance 7?km?(4.3?mi)
Start/End Points Glorit-Kaipara Hills Rd
Difficulty Help.gif Medium
Track conditions Help.gif Marked Route
Season Help.gif Oct to July (closed for lambing Aug/Sept)
Sights Views
Hazards Mud

 

Well sign posted from Kaipara Coast Highway, this track starts from Kaipara Hills Rd.

The first part is over farmland and apart from a short steep bit was fairly easy to negotiate. The track disappears into the bush and even in rain you are well covered and would hardly notice.

Up by the trig, there’s a viewing platform with awesome views over the Kaipara Harbour. You can also see Mt Tatamoe, Bream Head, Hen and Chickens, Dome Summit, Mt Tamahunga, Little Barrie and the Coromandel.

For more information on the walk and access information, see Mt Auckland Atuanui Walkway at the DOC website.

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Height Profile

Auckland, Mt-2d.jpg

 

 

Robert, Mt

Located in Nelson Lakes National Park, Mt Robert rises steeply from the still waters of Lake Rotoiti. Although one of the lower summits in the park, it towers impressively over the small township of St Arnaud. The 5 hour daywalk which circuits the mountain’s flanks offers incredible views, and passes by a number of cute little huts and shelters.

List Status Official
Elevation 1,421?m?(4,662?ft)
Location/List South Island, New Zealand
Region Nelson/Marlborough
Location Coordinates 41? 49′ 57″ S, 172? 48′ 40″ E
Nearest Town/s St Arnaud, Nelson
Geology Sedimentary
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 5 hours (loop)
Distance 7.2?km?(4.5?mi)
Start/End Points Mt Robert Rd lower carpark
Difficulty Help.gif Medium
Track conditions Help.gif Track, Overgrown track, Snow/Ice (seasonal)
Season Help.gif December to April
Sights Lakes, Huts , Views of St Arnaud and Lake Rotoiti, Bushline Hut
Hazards Alpine weather, Snow, Ice , steep drops

Getting There

By Car

After checking track and weather conditions with the local DOC Office in St Arnaud (it can snow on the tops at any time of year), leave the township of St Arnaud and turn down the signposted road leading to the Western Lakeside DOC camping ground. Pass by the stunning little boat ramp (and perhaps take a moment to admire Mt Robert), and continue up the dirt road, past the campgrounds, and across the small bridge which traverses the source of the Buller River.

There are three carparks at the top of the road. If following the Pinchgut/Paddy’s track circuit (as we describe here) park at the second carpark, by the Paddy’s Track signpost. (The first carpark is where the Lakeside track exits, and the top carpark is where the Pinchgut Track starts from.)

Public Transport

Nelson Lakes Shuttles run a comprehensive shuttle service to many tramps in this area, including to the Mt Robert carpark from St Arnaud ($10 per person).

Google Earth Map

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NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

If parked at the middle carpark by Paddy’s Track, first walk up the 4WD road to the top carpark. Curiously, when we visited, there was no sign to indicate where Pinchgut Track starts, only one to the Speargrass Creek track. However, Pinchgut Track starts from between the two signposts on your left as you enter the top carpark, and is a reasonably obvious pathway up the hillside.

The track zigzags many times up the mountain, first through grassland and scrub, and then through beech forest. Much of the original forest was burned down in an accidental fire in 1887 (and suffered from subsequent controlled fires for farming after this time), and the beautiful forest you pass through has regrown after replanting started in the 1960’s. After about 1 to 1.5 hours of ascending the switchbacks, you will reach the Bushedge Shelter. Take a moment to peek inside the cute little shelter, and note the informational sign about what to do if you see a tagged Kea in the park.

Not long after leaving the shelter, the track starts to sidle around the summit of Mt Robert, and snow poles begin to demarcate the route. As you reach the poles, start looking over your left shoulder for the cairn that marks the summit of Mt Robert. Leave the marked route and head up the easy slope to bag the peak at 1421m. To get better views, you can descend a little towards the western edge of the summit. Of course in misty or icy conditions this is not recommended as the summit drops away quite steeply on its north-western sides.

It is actually quite easy to miss the summit if you are not watching for it, as Mt Robert does not have much prominence on it’s southern slopes. In fact you will see that Mt Robert really is the lowest point of the Robert Ridge, which extends over Flagtop (1690m), Julius Summit (1794m), and on to Angelus Hut. However, we include it on our peak bagging list as it makes a superb day walk, and because of its striking visual prominence when viewed from St Arnaud.

Rejoin the poled route and continue down to the second of the small shelters (Relax Shelter). From the shelter the poled route continues up the ridge and eventually to Angelus Hut. On a summers day this is where many of your fellow trampers will be heading, however, to complete the Mt Robert circuit daywalk, turn left and follow the signs down Paddy’s Track down to Bushline Hut (14 bunks). Bushline Hut is the second hut you come to on Paddys Track, the first is a private (and locked) ski hut.

This track takes slighty longer than returning the way you came (approx 2.5 hours from Mt Robert summit), but it gives you a different set of views and avoids that much dreaded backtracking. Paddys Track is not as well travelled and formed as Pinchgut Track, but the gravelly track is still reasonably easy tramping in dry conditions.

After passing Bushline Hut, you zigzag your way down the mountain again, and then sidle around the north western flank. The track is not all downhill at this point, as you head upwards and cross over two large scree slopes. Be sure you maintain your concentration right to the end of the walk, as the track becomes very narrow a few moments before you reach the carpark.

Height Profile

Robert, Mt-2d.jpg

Images

Robertstartlower.jpg

Robertstart.jpg

Robertuppercarpark.jpg

Robertpinchgut.jpg

Robertbushedgeshelter.jpg

Robertsummitdirection.jpg

Robertsummitcairn.jpg

Robertpaddysintersection.jpg

Robertskiclubhut.jpg

Robertbushlinehut.jpg

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