Tramping club prepares to gift new track to Pukekohe

The Auckland region will soon have a new walk and cycle trail that starts as soon as they hop off a train. Pukekohe’s Five Summit’s Track will start and finish at Pukekohe Station. It will take people on a 21km journey linking the town’s five volcanic hills in a loop.

Pukekohe Tramping Club has been designing the track. It plans to gift it to local people on the club’s fiftieth birthday on 10 November 2019.

It will be a valuable addition to the Auckland region’s network of trails to serve the growing number of people who are walking for recreation. Pukekohe is becoming more urban so linking its existing outdoor access to create this track helps serve those new urban walkers.

David Lawrie formed the Pukekohe Tramping Club 50 years ago. He was at university at the time and put a little advertisement in the paper. He got a reply from three or four other blokes. And so the club began. It now has 140 members. And David, still with the club, is now its president.

Club member Dee Keys is on a subcommittee helping to create the walk. She says Pukekohe’s geological area has old volcanos around the central town. There are also lots of parks, reserves, and existing paths.

“So it’s sort of putting together what already there,” says Dee.

“There are lots of people who already walk around the town and do not know that these lovely little parks and reserves even exist.” says Dee. “When [a club member who knows all these little tracks] took us on the walk we were hardly on roads at all, and most of us did not even know these little pathways here, there and everywhere could be linked up.”

Dee says support from the Walking Access Commission’s regional field advisor Dot Dalziell has helped get the project off the ground. Dot found where the track needed access across land needed to improve then helped arrange that access and to mark the route.

Dee says the track can showcase the town to tourists because its hub is the train station.

“It really is something very exciting to do.”

In fact, when Dot came to check the track from her home in West Auckland she travelled with her bike on the train. She biked the track and loaded the bike back on the train for her journey home.

The track can be walked or cycled in parts – shorter loops link one or two hills back to the trail’s start at Pukekohe station, providing a series of walking journeys of about 1.5 hours long.

The Walking Access Commission is supporting the new track with an Enhanced Access Grant of $4000. This will help with the cost of trail maps, map design and signs. The signboards will explain the geological, historical and cultural significance of the view from each of the five hills.

Dee says the track also has the support of both the local Lions Club and Rotary. With most of the path already existing their help may go towards projects such as bridging a small stream and building some boardwalks.

“It is a great community effort to gift a permanent asset to Pukekohe’s future generations.”