Battle Hill side trips - a medium trip
July 6, 2016
Fine weather with a bit of cloud over east and very little wind made good conditions for a trip that was mainly on the tops. Ten members met at the Battle Hill Farm car park at 9 a.m. Our first side trip was a five-minute pause at the graves of the Abbott family from early Pauatahanui and two graves of soldiers who died on Battle Hill in 1846. From there we moved through lovely old forest, including a good swathe of tawa and knobbly-kneed kohekohe sprouting the usual flowers straight out of the trunks, as they do, to the delight of several tui.
Battle Hill proper is on farm land with views to Mt Matthews, Puketiro forest, Porirua City and the Ohariu windmills. It was a lovely spot for morning tea, but a bit early, so we headed down through grazing sheep and cattle to Swampy Gully, another side trip. Although planted, the gully is quite remarkable for its film set-like stands of cabbage trees and in summer is busy with tuis swooping among the giant flax bushes.
On we headed to the ridge overlooking Transmission Gully and a view of progress on the underpass that will enable trampers, horsey people and mountain bikers to cross over to the mass of trails beyond that go all the way to Orange Hut and more. Up the left side of the Puketiro Loop, we took a small diversion on a bike track for our first good view of Pauatahanui Inlet, Mana Island and Cook Strait. At the top of the loop is the deliciously-named Blowfly Road, just a 4WDer,
but quietly pleasant, heading down through pine forest with natives poking through in places. We lunched on the side of the road in a bit of sunshine and no blowflies!
At Curtis Flat we took a left turn in to native bush and a little stream, then off-track up through remarkably steep pine forest to reach the ridge which carries on to Mt Wainui. We went in the opposite direction, up onto the Puketiro Loop summit and a sweeping view east-south-west, then down along the skyline ridge back to the road to Abbott Trig, our second-to-last side trip. Here we did a diversion off-track through pine forest and over an old fence for afternoon tea at the trig, where we enjoyed afternoon tea with a view of Mana Island. Our final stretch down through the pine forest on the other side of the Puketiro Loop took another side-skip through old macrocarpa trees to return to the cars just after 3 p.m.
- Party members
- Linda Beckett, Hadley Bond, Mike Crozier, Suzanne Cummings, Peter Morten, Marg Pearce (leader and scribe),
Dave Reynolds, Penny Salmond, John Thomson, Warwick Wright