36 - Flaxmore
There are many walking options on the Grampians - this one doesn't go right to the top, but traverses the north facing slopes of the hills with good views over the well-treed 'Dress Circle' and an opportunity to appreciate the planting of the city backdrop in native and exotic species.
Time: 1 - 1 1/2 hours
Area: South Nelson
Start Location: Fairfield House, top of Trafalgar Street South. Fairfield House, now open for community use, was built by Maria and Arthur Atkinson. She worked for women's education while he was a Nelson MP and astronomer. With permission from the caretakers you can climb the tower where Arthur's telescope was mounted.
Walk up the steep track on the left of the Fairfield House driveway to the walkway sign.
Follow the track around the back of Fairfield, noting the spectacular sequoia and oak trees, then take the downhill fork and another downhill turn which takes you out at the top of Endeavour Street.
Follow the Grampians Walkway uphill to a gate where you take a right turn to follow a track which traverses along the Flaxmore fault-line, rather than carrying on uphill to the summit. The track takes you around the side of a valley behind Nelson College and the hospital, with great views out over the city and Tasman Bay.
After coming around the western side of this valley the road forks - take the downhill fork and when the road turns uphill, carry on downhill taking the right track to a stile and a sign indicating 'To Grampians Oaks'. Walk down Blampied Place to Tukuka Street, take a right turn into Campbell Street, then a left down Motueka Street, turning right into Waimea Road. There is a footpath that takes you above traffic level, along in front of Braemar and Nelson College. Turn right into Hampden Street, left into Ngatitama Street and right again into Van Dieman Street to finish back at Fairfield.