Tramp 1241: Five Summits trail, Pukekohe, Sept 11

Written by Adrienne. Photos by Karin

Participants: Adrienne, Chris B, Kathy T, Kathy O, Carl, Christine, Bill, Karin, Yvonne, Sue, Jane P

Nine of us travelled on the easy drive up to Pukekohe meeting Sue and Jane P at Pukekohe Hill Reserve (summit 1) where we admired the views overlooking the cityscape. From here we drove to Rosa Birch Park to start our walk.

We meandered via the outskirts of town to Belmont Rise (Summit 2) which was a bit of a let down in that there were no views; all there was, was a dead-end street with a sign telling of an old mansion which was nowhere to be seen. We found out later from a couple of young girls that that area is what the locals call “the dark side”. Apparently there have been murders there in the past.

Retracing our steps for a while, we continued on through a new subdivision admiring some of the new style housing until we entered a small gully system and followed alongside a stream. We stopped beside it for morning tea on its banks. From here the trail was marked with the occasional distinctive orange DoC markers although the trail is not a DoC trail. It is a trail put together by the Pukekohe tramping club to celebrate 50 years of their existence. It loosely joins many of the parks and reserves in the town.

We exited the gully onto a busy main road which we crossed and joined a couple of reserves and headed upwards to the top of Cape Hill (Summit 3). From here there was a great view overlooking rugby grounds, the huge Possum Bourne retirement village and in the distance, the Pukekohe racetrack.

As we descended from here we walked past the retirement village following a manmade stream. Then some more residential houses this time a bit older but not the oldest, perhaps the 80’s. It was interesting passing through the different stages of the town’s development and noting the different housing styles.

We continued walking in this area, all the while heading steadily uphill till we reached the top of ‘The Rock’ (summit 4), a lovely grassed area with views to the south and more subdivisions being developed. Here we had lunch. It was a bit windy but the breeze was appreciated as the day was warming up somewhat.

Down again and through more newish residential housing till we got out to the main road into Pukekohe and an older part of town. We headed up into the only bush area of the walk, Rooseville Park. The old established native trees, mainly totara, on the top (summit 5) were well received. However, we had soon walked through them, down again, back into town and the railway station. From here it was just a short walk back to the car via a dairy where we stopped for ice creams.

It was a lovely warm day with the sights of Pukekohe having been enjoyed by many. It was a good opportunity to see the insides of a town that many of us simply just pass by.