The Peak from Palliser Bay (Map R27, R28 and Pt Q27)
15 August 2001
To access The Peak from the Palliser Bay side requires an early start and permission to leave cars at the Orongorongo Station and to travel through the station during the descent from Kotumu to the coast. The farm manager, Steve, was very friendly and helpful, allowing us both access and secure parking. (His contact phone number is 564-9638.) There were six members on the trip and after a 6.30 am start from Wellington we were ready to set off from the station at about 8 o’clock. Steve was about to start mustering with the assistance of some local farmers and a group of keen and excited dogs.
Our plan was to access The Peak by way of a spur at 745760 on the true right of the second stream past Kotumu Stream. The first part of the spur was quite steep but with some vegetation to hang onto we were able to make reasonable time. The spine of the spur was often covered with very thick tight second growth and a sidle was a good and faster option.
When the vegetation did thin out the views were fantastic - of both the near and distant coasts of Palliser Bay. Unfortunately I had believed the weather forecast which had predicted low cloud and rain, and left my camera at home. We were soon level with a large slip, marked on the map at 742764, which is partly covered with grass but we decided on a sidle to the north.
Once past the slip we found ourselves on a large flattish area of open bush where we stopped for a snack and a drink before continuing on up to The Peak, in, for the most part, good open bush.
Once on The Peak it was time for lunch in cooling conditions. After lunch we engaged in some circular bush walking but we soon tired of this and found the main ridge and headed to Kotumu. Heading to the farm four wheel drive track off Kotumu a sidle is necessary to avoid a large slip on the Palliser Bay side. There is a route through the scrub which is laced with lawyer and some patches of nettle.
Once on the farm track the adventure was over for the day and it was an easy stroll down to the coast and Orongorongo Station. Steve was there to meet us and to tell us about the accommodation which is being developed at the Orongorongo Station. Some of the farm houses are being converted into farm stays and the shearers quarters into budget priced accommodation. With this range of accommodation available there is a very interesting range of trip options in the southern part of the Rimutaka Range.
Party members: Yvonne Ashworth, Colin Cook, Bernard Molloy, Sieny Pollard, Tim Stone and Dave Reynolds (leader and scribe).