Hihi (pronounced like the male pronoun rather than the greeting) is a summit on the Coromandel ranges that I had been eyeing up for a few years. This is a fair walk in but the gradient is OK for the most part. And you get to walk through a tunnel. The day I chose to activate this summit it was very hot and the initial ascent was hard going. There are various ways to get from the carpark up to the tunnel (Collins Drive) the quickest track takes about 30 minutes. The tunnel is a bit short for taller people so watch your head. You will also need a torch. It is about 600 m long.
Once through the tunnel its about a 3 hour walk to the summit. You will see sleepers on some parts of the track where old tram lines existed. There is also a short side walk to an old dam further up the track. I didnt visit it but the junction to this spur track is near the 500 m contour.
From the top it was a summit to summit fest. I made 15 summit to summit contacts before roll over and another 9 after roll over. A very fruitful day adding 57 Summit to summit points to the log. There is a helipad clearing at the top to set up so there is lots of space, with a view back to Pauanui.
This summit is a good one to add to the must do list.
Summit – ZL1/WK-072 Hihi
Height – 728 mASL (Climb almost all of these)
Access – From end of Puketui Road
Nominal time to summit – 3 – 3.5 hr walk
Mobile and internet coverage from the summit – Good cell and 7075 repeater
Summit Marker – Radio mast
Land Access Permission – Not required – DoC land.
NB: Photos are not for use elsewhere without prior permission