37 - Grampians via the Kahikatea Track
This walk is for people with a good level of fitness - the rewards are the enjoyment of native bush just minutes from the city and spectacular views once you reach the lookout.
Time: 1 1/2 - 2 hours
Area: South Nelson
Start Location: Victory Square, corner of St Vincent and Toi Toi streets.
Walk south along St Vincent Street and then veer to the left onto the Railway Reserve - the pedestrian walkway along the old rail line which used to link Nelson and Glenhope. Leave the reserve at Bishopdale (opposite the Caltex station), follow Boundary Road and cross Waimea Road. Past the Caltex station go straight up Bishopdale Avenue and left at Clifford Avenue. Turn left again into Westley Place - at the end, turn left of number 29, go through the field and up on to Market Road. Straight across the road is a small carpark and the beginning of the Kahikatea Track that takes you to the top of the Grampians. You will pass the track's namesake tree when you climb the platform arround its root system - the tree is 36m high, has a 34m spread, an 8m circumference and is thought to be about 300-500 years old.
Go over the stile, and follow the track through the gate, taking the Kahikatea Track up the hill.
At the top of the hill enjoy the panoramic views of the city and the region from the lookout platform above Tukuka Street.
Start your descent down the northern ridgeline of the Grampians. On the plateau cross the stile and carry on down the hill. At the bottom cross the stile and take the gate through to the Ronaki Track. Further down the hill through the next gate take the track to the right along the fence line and then through the deciduous trees to Ronaki Terrace.
Walk along Ronaki Terrace, turn right and follow Hampden Street down the hill, across Waimea Road, up and over the hill, down the Hampden Street Walkway and back to Victory Square.