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: