When you think Pauanui, you think sandy beaches and surfers, swimming and relaxation. Though as Warren had discovered before joining my family in Whangamata for the last week of the school holidays, Pauanui is also home to Mount Pauanui and that Mountain is another SOTA Summit, one we intended to tick off while in the area. One day out of 4 were set aside for SOTA adventures and Pauanui Hill was our first destination. The Mountain is situated at the far end of the beach with a walking track right to the top.
The climb is pretty steep in parts, though it is manageable for most. The heat of the day and having been unwell the day before, saw myself and Wyatt (6yrs) only climb to about half way before leaving Warren and Myah (8yrs) to continue to the summit on their own and activate the summit for Warrens log. The views in the clearings though as you climb the mountain (narrow in parts) track have some seriously impressive views.
Myah was excited as me heading back down with Wyatt before reaching the top meant she got to try her hand at taking photos of the goings on at the top, and well, she certainly got camera happy! Not long after Wyatt and I made it back to ground level the other half of our group of 4 made it to the summit, which boasts even more impressive views out to sea and over to Tairua, which we would visit later in the day.
The track takes you to an impressive lookout point furnished with a single bench seat. About 50 meters further into the bush and a deteriorated trig marks the summit. With the sun beating down on us we set up the dipole using the trig as a center support. Not many contacts were made due to it being a work day for most, but enough to qualify for the single point.
(photos below taken by Warren and by Myah)
Summit height – 387 m
Access via carpark at end of Pauanui Beach Road. Track starts at beach front and zig zags straight up.
Nominal time to summit – 90 minute walk.
Summit marker – Trig Station (or what’s left of it).
Land access permission – Public land – not required. No Dogs permitted on the beach or on the Mountain.