Bell Rock is one of those iconic shorter hikes that stand out in one’s memory long after you’ve done it. It’s an easy 3 hours return, and takes a bit of travelling to get to, but ultimately is supremely worth the effort in getting to. Don’t do this hike without a camera! It’s also best to do it on a clear day, as views and scenery form a huge part of the enjoyment of this walk. Take a packed lunch and thermos – there’s nothing like sitting on top of the world, enjoying a sandwich and a cup of tea or coffee!
This is a tramp for the slightly more adventurous – it has streams, bush, tops and river walking. It presents more of a challenge when compared to Sunrise Hut, and requires a higher level of fitness and skill. It is best done as an overnight hike, but the very fit can do it there and back in a day. The rewards are great views, a cosy hut, and beautiful bush. For those into trout fishing, this is a good one, as there are trout in the Tukituki river – they’re of good size, but not easily lured, which is how they got to be of good size! Remember to take your fishing licence. Also remember that a 4wd vehicle will be required to get to the start.
To get to the start, turn into Makaretu road, off SH50 in Central Hawke’s Bay. Continue down Makaretu road towards the mountains until you reach Sherwood School – directly opposite, turn left into Mill road. Mill road eventually changes from tar-seal to gravel, and a while further on, as the road climbs up a steep rise, turn left into Kashmir road. At the time of writing, the name sign had disappeared, but there is a green and yellow DOC direction sign on the left as well. Continue reading
For the first part of this tramp/hike, refer to the article on Sunrise Hut.
Top Maropea Hut is completely different to Sunrise Hut – it’s a lot smaller (6 bunks, compared to 24 for Sunrise Hut), and is a restored old Forest Service type hut. However, for tramping satisfaction, this is the real deal – it is miles away from anywhere, and gives one that real sense of isolation, as there is no sign or view of civilisation or environmental modification in any direction.
If you love tramping, this is one you can’t miss when visiting Hawke’s Bay. It offers easy hiking, beautiful bush and scenic views, and plenty of photo opportunities. It is also pretty safe under most weather conditions, is family and child-friendly and is therefore the most popular tramp in the eastern Ruahine ranges, for good reason.
The start is at a well-signposted car park near the end of North Block Rd. The easiest way to get there is from SH50 in Central Hawke’s Bay. Turn down Wakarara Rd, towards the mountains, and follow this for about 22km, then turn left into North Block Rd. About 4km further on you’ll get to the intersection with Carsons Rd – keep right, and continue on until you arrive at a farm gate, the first of three. Please leave gates as you find them, as the road passes through a working farm. The car park is about 0.5km after the third gate. Continue reading
Not only are we listing as many hiking options as we can in New Zealand, but we’re planning to expand our listings to include South Africa as well. If you have information about hiking trails in other countries, please write to us and we’ll consider adding them too.
For now we’ve listed only those hiking trails around the Hawke’s Bay area in the North Island of New Zealand, which is where I currently live (in Waipukurau) and do my hiking frequently. Being from Cape Town originally however, and having family there I still visit every few years, I have covered most of the hiking trails in the mountains around the Western Cape as well.
It is my wish to provide information to assist hikers and walkers to enjoy the beauty of creation, to marvel at nature whilst getting good exercise too. Join me…