In Te Awamutu, this tramp will take approx 2hrs. Fitness difficulty: intermediate due to the long but steady ascend. Tramping track – intermediate with some steps and walkways, other parts are all ‘natural’ trail.
Listed as advanced by DOC I was expecting this tramp to be a bit more difficult but if I had to rank it, in terms of fitness and tackling the track itself, I would say its not as bad as Hakarimata Summit Track and that one is listed as easy! Anyway, if you’re looking at the DOC website I would say that the description of the walk was for the ‘old track’ which has now been replaced with this new one as there is not the ‘once you reach the top of the ascend you will walk along a ridge’. Instead you will climb a steady ascend for about 30-40 mins, passing a lookout post that’s relatively close to the bottom (and the car park) before walking along the side of the mountain on fairly flat in comparison ground for about 15-20mins, then you will come to the last 1/4 of the section where you will first be greeted by stairs before a combination of short steep sections short sections (with and without stairs) to low undulating stable track before reaching the (boarded) walkways.
This track allows for bikers but I’m unsure as a biker, once you reach 3/4 of the way up whether bikes can continue to proceed to the summit because there is a no bikes signpost there just before the stairs begin. I was just thankful that day I didn’t choose to ride up this trail because I would have been gutted as to not be allowed to reach the summit just because I had a bike! Also, why is this biking trail graded easy but the tramp graded advanced. Neither of these categories seem fitting in either case!? Anyway…
This is a short tramp where there are some muddy sections, especially if its been raining/is wet, but is nothing taxing nor unmanageable. At only 2hrs and limited physical (and fitness) challenge I wasn’t too satisfied with this walk, however like most walks I’ve been on so far, you’re rewarded with a great view of the surrounding area with it’s tall lookout post once you reach the summit. Suitable for a 1/2 day tramp.