Battle Hill E/M
July 11 2012
Battle Hill was the scene of a skirmish between Te Rangihaeata and government forces in 1846 and is a 191m hill just off the Paekakariki Hill Road, six kilometres from Pauatahanui village. The Battle Hill farm is a much larger area and includes the Abbott Trig at 433m on a ridge above Transmission Gully. When planning the trip for July 11, I decided on an E/M grade to take into account these two climbs, but the rest of the trip is fairly easy going.
A cool start in the clear skies set a suitably sombre mood for our first stop-off at the grave site only minutes in to the first part of the trip. The historic graves are those of the Abbott family but also casualties from the famous battle. From there we passed through a small area of native forest with a good variety of species, including kohekohe and tawa. The track then rises steeply up into open farmland and up to Battle Hill itself. Our party of 22 perused historical information and then enjoyed stunning views over morning tea.
From there we descended through farmland on a poled route that was only as clear as mud in places despite the open ground, so there was a bit of too-ing and fro-ing to come out at the right spot on the metalled track that rises up and over into Transmission Gully.
Over the stream, which had clearly been in flood recently and taken on a whole new character, and then we were plodding up through the calming quiet of pine forest. This track is well-graded, nevertheless it climbs 400 metres, and some of the party were grateful when lunch was announced as we reached the ridge top.
The views through to the South Island, the Makara windmills, Mana Island and Porirua Harbour and the lovely sunshine were wonderful wallpaper for our lunch break.
The descent down the other loop, across the stream and gully to the farm buildings and car park took us back before 3 p.m. after a comfortable five-hour day.
- Party members
- .Penny Salmond, Marg Conal(leader and scribe), Diane Head, John Neas, John Larkindale, Joanne Gapes, Diane Gibbons, Jim Gibbons, Diana Barnes, Bruce and Kerry Popplewell, Jenny Lewis, Muriel Christianson, Syd Moore, Marris Weight, Geraldine Keith (members) Peter Hatfield, Mike Walls, Richard Scales, Judy Hedwig (non-members) and two others who did not sign in!!