Panekiri is one of the more picturesque walks I have done. It is part of the lake Waikaraemoana great walk. The track is now managed by the local iwi, and the track to the summit is at the time of writing in good condition.
The track starts from Onepoto and you start following a short track to the base of the range, then climbing to the trig at 964 m. From there you get magnificent views of the lake. There is more climbing to get to Panekiri bluff and from there the track is more gentle in gradient, with plenty of viewing points across the lake as you go.
This track leads to Panekiri hut and on wards around the eastern edge of the lake. However despite the hut being at a high point it is not the true summit. The true summit is at spot height 1186 (the hut is at 1185 m by the way), which is about 2/3rds of the way to the hut. The track does not go to this spot height however it does get close. It does not appear that the track crosses the activation zone however again it is probably close and this is hard to tell without a survey grade GPS. So I chose to bash to the true summit, about 2 minutes from the track.
At the summit everything was damp and branches were rotting. Care needs to be taken with the environment here that you dont rely on such rotting wood for support lest you slip or twist your ankle. At the top I stretched my dipole between some trees and set up on a fallen log. All 17 contacts I made were on 7 MHz – 16 were to ZL including 4 summit to summit contacts, with one to VK2IO in Sydney.
Walking back down from the summit take extreme care not to cross over the track and head off into the wilderness. From there its a good walk back down – taking care near the clifftops and make time to enjoy the views.
Summit – Panekiri ZL1/HB-033
Height – 1186 mASL (climb 600 m)
Access – from Onepoto
Nominal time to summit – 3 hours
Mobile and internet coverage from the summit – Good coverage on Spark and 690 repeater
Summit Marker – none – GPS required
Land Access Permission – Not required – iwi track (however restrictions may apply).
NB: Photos are not for use elsewhere without prior permission