Day Shots and Star Trails from Mt. Hawkins

Mt. Hawkins (Hawkins Hill) is a peak located about halfway between the Karori Refuge and Red Rocks, west of the Happy Valley. At 495m it is the highest hill in the area, and offers great views over Southern Wellington, Cook Strait, South Island, and the Meridian Windfarm. The hill is topped by an operating radome and a large flat concrete foundation. Great shots all around, including a random ostrich farm, a castle, and many vistas on the way to the hill.

After the dayshoot, if weather permits, we can stick around and shoot the startrails from Hawking Hill, or a point below if the peak is too cold and windy. The moon will be New so no issues, Sunset is at 5.16 pm.

Tentatively, we can meet up under the Brooklyn Turbine (access by Ashton Fitchett Drive, then a winding driveway up to the top) . There is a large parking lot just past the turbine. GOOGLE shows about 3kms to walk between the Turbine and Hawkins Hill - it is an easy grade, with a choice to follow a sealed road, a rough mountain bike track, or the Karori Predator Fence (for a part of the way). Elevation gain is a bit over 100m.

The meeting place is set as 'tentative' because there is a gate at the entrance to the driveway. I understand this gate may be locked nightly - if anyone is familiar with its operation and locking times, let me know - we don't want to get locked out in the middle of the night!

To those new to Wellington - the wind and cold can be brutal on the hills, so layers, a windproof and warm jacket, hiking shoes, a hat and gloves are a must. Bring a torch, and something to eat and drink.

To see what can be expected, this links to my facebook album of the trek:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152704505880177.1073741828.576750176&type=1&l=4e8e113ea0

Join or login to comment.

  • Patrick

    Great day - though didn't seem like it was going to be! Sorry I missed the group at the turbine, my phone wasn't in range after we started trekking up and I was only getting sporadic texts.

    May 13, 2013

  • pru w.

    it was really great the weather cleared so it was a pleasant walk from the turbine up

    1 · May 12, 2013

  • pru w.

    if we drive to the top can we leave early. I will need to leave about 6.30pm at the latest.

    May 11, 2013

  • Patrick

    Hi all, just got off the phone with Ian - he has arranged for the gates to be opened ( I will call a contact who can do it remotely) after 5pm, so feel free to park your car on the top of the driveway, right by the Brooklyn Wind Turbine. I will be at the turbine at 4.00 pm.

    May 11, 2013

    • Patrick

      With the clouds and mist, star trails are probably out, it will be pitch dark after 6pm.

      May 11, 2013

  • Patrick

    Got an email back from WCC - the gates are locked between 5pm-8am. So this will ad 1.3 kms to the trek, though there will be some great photo ops between the gates and the turbine like the WW2 gun emplacements.

    May 2, 2013

    • Patrick

      Around 4.5k

      May 9, 2013

    • Ian B.

      Hi Patrick, Can you call me please re access ph 0226998449. Ian

      May 11, 2013

  • Marilou Grande S.

    Hi Jim, I just want to confirm if the Day Shots and Star Trails from Mt. Hawkins is postponed or not.
    Just worry because of the bad weather. Please response.

    Thanks,

    Marilou

    May 11, 2013

    • Patrick

      It's on, looks like the weather will not permit star trails but I will be there anyways, clouds and passing showers may set the scene for great shots.

      May 11, 2013

  • Patrick

    Well - we're going to be scaling the top of one of the most exposed hills on the South Coast, on the coldest day of the year (so far), with fresh Southerlies screaming at us from across the Cook Strait - you've been warned (to dress sensibly)!

    May 10, 2013

  • Yao L.

    Sorry that I cannot go as other commitment at 7pm.

    May 10, 2013

  • Richard A.

    Sorry, evening commitments...

    May 8, 2013

  • Patrick

    We'll meet at the bottom of the driveway which leads up to the turbine, right off Ashton Fitchett Drive (see the markers on the meetup map). Meet up at 4pm and start the walk up. If anyone is going to be a few mins late, give me a call at[masked], and I'll stick around. On the way we'll make a small side trip to the gun emplacements, then up to the turbine, and from there on to the radome and Hawkins Hill.

    May 7, 2013

  • Amy S.

    What time and where do we meet?

    May 7, 2013

  • David

    camera has to go back to germany to have the sensor looked at *sadface*

    May 6, 2013

  • Chris H.

    Would love to attend but I will be in Napier for the weekend. Looking forward to seeing all the images when I get back.

    May 6, 2013

  • David

    I was at the turbine a couple of weeks ago and I vaguely recall the gates shutting at 5pm. There's plenty of street parking around before the gate, but it would mean a longer walk.

    April 15, 2013

    • Patrick

      Cheers, I'll shoot an email to WCC tomorrow to see what the deal is.

      April 17, 2013

  • Yao L.

    looking forward to it

    April 17, 2013

  • Barbara D.

    My sister is visiting this weekend and will be keen to come too

    April 16, 2013

  • Barbara D.

    My sister and I will just be there for the sunset shots. Just can't convince her to stay late into the night in the cold and wind - can't imagine why:D

    April 16, 2013

  • Barbara D.

    My sister is visiting this weekend and will be keen to come too

    April 16, 2013

  • Patrick­ changed the date and time from Saturday, May 04, 2013 at 4:00 PM to Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    April 15, 2013

  • Patrick

    Good to know Chris - I will flip it back one week to May 11th.

    April 15, 2013

  • Chris H.

    Hi Patrick, Just to let you know the PSNZ photographic convention is on from 1st May to 5th May in Wellington. Saturday night is the Honours Banquet. I am not sure how many of the meetup group are going to the convention.......
    Regards

    Chris

    April 15, 2013

  • Patrick

    The meeting place - Brooklyn Turbine - is marked by the green arrow on the map.

    April 15, 2013

13 went

Sometimes the best Meetup Group is the one you start

Get started Learn more
Katie

I'm surprised by the level of growth I've seen since becoming an organizer, it's given me more confidence in my abilities.

Katie, started NYC ICO

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy