Thursday, 30 April 2015

Trip Report: Flagstaff to Green Hut Site - Silver Peaks

Over the Christmas Holidays, we headed out for a short overnighter around the hills near Dunedin.

This walk could be done as a long day walk, but there is something special about sleeping in the outdoors. It can be done as a return trip, leaving a car at the Bull Ring Car Park on Flagstaff-Whare Flat Rd, or as a through trip starting from either the Bull Ring Car Park or Semple Rd. We walked it as a return trip, and it took approximately 5 hours 30 minutes each way, including stops.

This was an easy tramp, with gravel track for at least half the walk, with some mud and swamp. The track is well-marked the whole way. However, the weather is very changeable so always travel prepared. There is reasonable cellphone reception along most of the track.

The track starts in the Dunedin City Council Flagstaff Scenic Reserve (dogs allowed), and moves into The Silverpeaks Scenic Reserve, administered by DOC (dogs by permit only).

View Larger Topographic Map

The track starts out following a wide dirt (mud) track heading up Flagstaff. This track is called the Firebreak Track because it was originally used as a fire break. After a short period of walking you will see an old fire fighting reservoir on the left.
The track branches off to the left and heads down the hill, before coming to the intersection with the Pineapple Track. If you choose to explore the Pineapple Track, your dog must be on lead.

Continue to the left along the Swampy Ridge Track. This track follows a clear path through tussock, travelling over several hills and valleys, each one steeper than the one before. Finally the track emerges onto Rollinsons Rd. This is an easy stroll past various buildings and electronic equipment. Follow the road straight to the end, where a small building provides a nice wind-break to eat lunch.

Past this building, the track moves into The Silverpeaks Scenic Reserve. The track stays in this reserve for the rest of the journey.

Follow the Swampy Ridge Route down a tussocky hill and into a short stretch of bush meadow (complete with the bog underfoot that gives Swampy Summit its name), then through native bush to the intersection with the path to Semple Rd and Mountain Track Rd. This is a lovely spot to stop for a breather, and if you're into geocaching....

The last portion of the track is a gently undulating climb to Green Hill, where Green Hut used to be located. It has since been removed due to constant vandalism, but a flat spot remains for camping. There is no toilet, and no easily accessible water supply, so carrying water in is well worth the effort, and make sure to bury any dog or human waste well off the track.

The return walk is by the same route, although the hill to Rollinsons Rd seems a lot steeper from this side!

Local DOC Office

Ōtepoti / Dunedin Office
Phone: +64 3 477 0677
Fax: +64 3 474 7090
Address: 77 Lower Stuart Street
Conservation House

Postal Address: PO Box 5244
Moray Place
Dunedin 9058

Pest Control Operations

The DCC is currently compiling a list of current pest control operations for their website. In the meantime, if you would like to know if any pest control operations are planned at a particular reserve, you can contact the DCC Parks officer directly.

Closest Vet

44 Rankeilor Street
Dunedin South, New Zealand, 9012
Phone: (03) 456 2345 (24 hours/7 days)

Further Information

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