Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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Base map extracted from NZ TopoOnline July 2006. Crown Copyright Reserved.

Nineteen people, including several children, turned up to explore Red Hill, a hill on the eastern outskirts of Papakura that was once a Maori pa site.

We left The Bracken at 1:30pm as usual and met up with four of the group on the corner of Settlement Rd and Redcrest Ave at 2pm. From there we set out along Redcrest Ave, turning into Chisarda Place to follow a track crossing a ditch then climbing up to Brooke Rd.

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The grunt continued as we followed Brooke Rd to Red Hill Rd; by now we were on the summit plateau area of Red Hill. We did a loop walk through the Red Hill reserve, an area of native bush dropping down into the lower Hunua Gorge. When the Club did this trip four years ago, a side track led to the Hays Stream at the bottom of the gorge; the tracks had not been over-maintained since then and we saw no trace of the side track.
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The loop walk finished where it started, then it was a three-minute walk along Red Hill Rd to the start of the summit track in the Puke Kiwiriki Pa reserve. We stopped to read on a signboard the story of the former Maori village from the 1800s - legend has it that the tribe occupying the pa was involved in a war with an invading tribe that was so bloody that there werenít even twenty people left alive and unhurt.
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A short track led through bush past sandstone bluffs to the pa site, a broad grassed area from where we had views all around - Papakura and the Manukau Harbour to the west, and the Hunua Gorge with its quarry to the east; a great place to have our afternoon tea stop.
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Peter shared some thoughts on the power of choice. We need to choose our channels carefully; if you do not take the choice it goes to someone else. We need to choose what is best, to change our channel from worry and stress to peace and happiness. He cited the example of the choices we all had taken to come along on our tramp; the one who chooses the beginning chooses the outcome. Peter quoted Ephesians 1:18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, saying that we need to ask God to open our spiritual eyes. The challenge presented in these devotions was to consider the power of making choices - every walk we do brings new experiences, goals and views of Godís creation.
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Back on our feet again we returned to the road and began to follow Settlement Rd - which becomes Red Hill Rd at the summit - downhill through a mixture of hice and farm land. We could look back to the prominent slab-like Puke Kiwiriki Pa, and ahead to Papakura with the Pahurehure Inlet and Manukau Harbour in the distance.
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Further down, we went onto a new track through a reserve that was once farmland. This concrete path wound its way down to the bottom of the hill, then along the bottom to rejoin Settlement Rd just one minute from our cars.
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We were finished by 4:15pm. Some of us latted at the Boodles restaurant and bar on the way home.
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COST: $6