Jo's Monday Walks, Life at No.22, Local Walks, New Zealand, Walks

Local Walk – Summerhill Farm

On a sunny weekday, a friend drove us Southwest over the Tauranga bridge for approximately 11 kilometres until we reached Reid Road, off Welcome Bay Road. It took another 3 km before we exited the car at Poplar Lane and began our walk.

I have been with various people over these hills and valleys numerous times, and I never tire of the views or the company.

Recent History of the Farm

While Papamoa Hills is well known and used regularly by locals, only a few are aware of the myriad walking and mountain biking trails at Summerhill, just over the fence. Summerhill, a working farm, can be accessed from Reid Road or over a stile just below the trig on Papamoa Hills. David and Chloie Blackley purchased 100 ha in 1959 and added two adjoining farms to make 400ha. Half is in the forest, native bush and a variety of introduced species such as gums, poplar, Cyprus, Ash and Tasmanian blackwood. The other half is farmed mainly in sheep and some cattle.

In 2004 Summerhill Recreation Farm was established, and in 2014, 126ha was gifted to a trust for recreation and education. All donations and proceeds from the farm are used to develop and maintain this land for all to enjoy.

What a fantastic gift!

The Walk

At the beginning of our walk is the Mongolian Ger, which can be rented out for the night, headed down a trail to the pump house and onto the ‘Monorail’ Trail. We took a zig-zag route past a stand of tall white gums to a gate leading to an open pasture.

Looking out towards Papamoa/Te Puke and the coastline

Poled markers led us along the farm past inquisitive cows, down through a gully with ponds and wetlands, and then a steep climb up to Reid Road. Across the road to the Ridgeline Track, a road section with magnificent views of the whole area and out to sea.

A multi-million dollar view which I am sure the cow doesn’t fully appreciate, though we did.
A mooving conversation with the locals
Heading towards the ridgeline
Side-tracked down the Flying Mullet

Instead of following the entirety of Ridgeline Track, we headed down Flying Mullet Track, which was not our best decision that day. If we had adorned a mullet, mine would’ve been flying parallel to the ground as my backside hit the ground on a slippery track. Oh well, no injuries occurred, and we eventually reached the roadside and retraced our steps with a short walk towards the Papamoa Hills to rest before heading home.

The Shoes with a View

If you enjoy a good walk like myself and Jo ofย Joโ€™s Monday Walk, then pop over and find out where she and others have explored.

23 thoughts on “Local Walk – Summerhill Farm”

    1. Thanks very much, Anabel, the fall didn’t have a big impact on our walk though it was a reminder that tracks used for mountain bikes are slippery and best avoided by walkers.

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  1. How wonderful that the farm’s owners make some of their land available for others to enjoy like this, as well as preserving a lot of it as forest! Sorry to hear you had a fall but it seems it could have been worse ๐Ÿค—

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, bless, Suzanne! I’m sorry I didn’t see this in time to include it today. I’ll include it in next week’s walk. We had a nature reserve called Summerhill back in our home town in the UK. More about birds than cows. Glad you weren’t hurt. Have a good week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jo, that’s ok, no worries at all. There is plenty of birds in the pockets of bush around the farm which we didn’t do that day. An abundance of padding from my pack when I slipped ๐Ÿ˜Š

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    1. It is a very scenic walk. Well, those mountain bike riders are a crazy lot with their downhill rides. Oh well, the flying mullet track part of our walk won’t be repeated. Quite a few tracks so will try another one soon.

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