Feb 14 2018

Bull Ring, Flagstaff walkway/Pineapple Track

Published by under Both Hikers & Trampers and tagged:

Location: 13.3 km from car-park.
Click Dunedin’s Hills’ History for background information.
Click Pineapple Track for background information.
Click Pineapple and Flagstaff walk for background information.
See Flagstaff Name for its origin.

14/2/2018 Trampers. Flagstaff.

The main tramping group was away this week in camp at Aspiring Hut, but 6 of those left at home felt the need for their usual Wednesday tramp, so decided to go and do something about it.

An early shower at 8.30 am, and low cloud in Mosgiel didn’t look very promising but as we drove up the gravel road to the Bull Ring our cars were raising dust.

The day was overcast and very pleasant, with a very slight breeeze increasing only a little in the afternoon. No cloud to bother us.

The summit of Flagstaff was our first objective and from where we viewed a helicopter operating from beside theĀ Firebreak Track. It was transiting close to us, and spraying somewhere low down in the Nichols Creek area apparently – out of our view.

Morning tea was taken at the junction of the first cross track to the Firebreak. During our stop, 2 hidden birds, only metres away, were calling – a single “click” sound. After a time one flew a few metres and was briefly visible before going back into cover. My guess was that it was maybe a Fern Bird? Are there any ornithologists out there who can confirm if there are any Fern Birds up on Flagstaff?

We continued along the Pineapple Track to the next junction, and turning left crossed to the Swamp Ridge Track, to follow it to Swampy Summit.

We travelled at an easy pace, stopping for a rest at times at the top of the steeper bits. Eventually we came to the top of the Swine Spur Track, and followed it down about 50 metres to admire the recently erected track sign – well done Ian H.

It was 12 noon now and it was decided democratically by one person (not me) that we would stop here and have our lunch in the shelter of the Airways building.

Afterwards we retraced our steps back along Swampy Ridge and then the Firebreak Track …

Margreet pic.

… to finish at the Bull Ring. Again our pace was easy and pleasurable allowing plenty of time for taking (by some anyway).

On returning to Mosgiel we all adjourned to the Blackstone Cafe for after tramp relaxation.

In summary it had been a very enjoyable day out for the six of us, and we had some good exercise in travelling the 13.5 km. – Art.

29/4/2013. Trampers. Bullring, Skyline, Swampy.
As it was such a nice looking day after all the wet weather we have had, it was decided to stay in the sun for the day. So we went to the bull ring with the intention of going to Hightop. We took the long way around by going up the Skyline track, & along the tops to the junction with the track up to Swampy summit, & down to Booth Rd. The track up to Swampy summit was in quite good condition, but it doesn’t get any less steep as time goes on !!! On the way up the Skyline track we stopped at the NEW seat overlooking the city [which was covered in fog on this occasion] for morning tea. Lunch was held at the last Airways building …
Lunch time. (Heb pic, Ken caption)

Lunch time. (Heb pic, Ken caption)

… just at the start of the Swampy Ridge track leading over to the Green Hut track. A few of us walked down to the University research building during our lunch break, just to be able to say “I’ve been there”. After lunch it was decided that we would return to the cars by the same route, so we set off to the accompanying display from a helicopter …
Chopper topping up with spray for gorse. (Heb pic, Ken caption)

Chopper topping up with spray for gorse. (Heb pic, Ken caption)

… that was spraying gorse & broom at quite low levels. it was a brilliant day out, …
Great day

What a great looking day !!

… with no wind, & glorious sunshine all day, which had us discarding clothing to keep cool.
Looking forward to many more days like this.
Walked 16.6km; moving time 4hrs; ave speed 4.1km/hr; climbed 658mtrs; Max height 749mtrs. – Ken
9/4/2014. Hikers. Bullring, Flagstaff Forest, Firebreak, Flagstaff walkway. E. Leaders: Bruce and Marjorie.
GPS of route

GPS of route. Decipherment!: ’10’ denotes start/finish. Disregard the red overlay and read ’11’ as ‘1’ Otherwise fairly readable.

Cars met at the Bullring.
Of special interest was the presence with us of the Reverend Maggie Wanjiku Muhia, co-minister with her husband of a church in Nairobi, Kenya comprising 3,000 members and 50 staff, visiting for a fortnight with St Lukes congregation.
As a variation, the leaders took us back down the Whare Flat road we had driven up, to enter Flagstaff Forest at Laings Road. We followed its various up and down meanderings till a sunny spot, relatively free of the heavily-dewed Yorkshire Fog grass alongside the road could be found. A leisurely cuppa and then onwards to soon join with Longridge Road whose steeper incline returned us to the Bullring. Circuit one done.
Then we followed the variously named Firebreak/Bullock Track route which we found surprisingly wet, prompting us to step carefully as it grew steadily steeper. Near its crest, we stopped for lunch. As can be seen, the day was sunny, warm and quite still.

Lunch near top of Firebreak.

Pressing on, we passed the Ben Rudd turnoff, with many performing the ceremony of adding stones to the cairn there. Across and onto the Flagstaff walkway and the climb to the trig. En route, George was keen to show us the new side track leading to a seat with a commanding view under a large rock outcrop.


The seat and the view (Maggie pic)


Posing at the seat, looking at the view. (Maggie pic)


We reached the trig and then it was all downhill back to the cars. Forgetting the leaders, we strung ourselves out down the track in our own groups and at our own pace. – Ian.

Coffee at

After-tramp coffee at Topiary.

22/2/2012. Hikers. Bullring, Flagstaff walkway.
(An alternative to the programmed Dukes Road Taieri ramble due to predicted heavy rain later in the day.)
3/8/2011. Both. Bullring, Flagstaff walkway, Swampy, return Firebreak. Leaders: Margaret and Les.

GPS of route, courtesy Ken

Swampy track was treacherous in places


4/3/2009 Bullring, Flagstaff track, Swampy Track, Firebreak Track. Leaders: Evelyn.

click thumbnails to enlarge

Mount Grand Resevoir

Mount Grand Reservoir from Flagstaff

Dunedin from Flagstaff

Dunedin from Flagstaff

Corstorphine from Flagstaff

Corstorphine from Flagstaff. Bob in foreground

Margaret, Joyce on Flagstaff

Margaret, Joyce on Flagstaff. Bob E, Lex in background

Evelyn Flagstaff summit pipe

Evelyn Flagstaff summit pipe. Wendy foreground

Swampy track looking north

Swampy track looking north

Neil, Lesley G. Lunch.

Neil, Lesley G. Lunch at Swampy-Moon track Junction

26/9/2001 Pineapple Track. From Bull Ring. Leaders: Jack & Rosemary, Catherine T
13/9/2000 Pineapple Track area. From Bull Ring. Leaders: Arthur and Barbara

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Bull Ring, Flagstaff walkway/Pineapple Track”

  1.   Maggieon 21 Apr 2014 at 11:26 pm

    That was a fabulous trek, I must say. I was both impressed and challenged by the commitment to fitness by the entire group. i must therefore register my appreciation to my new friend Molly for the invitation and to the hikers for welcoming us both and making us feel at home.
    I have an invitation to you all to come and hike on our various mountains and to sample some of our delightful trails. Kenyans pride themselves as the owners of the second highest stand alone mountain, in Africa, Mt. Kenya which towers over all else to crown the Kenyan sky line with beauty and dignity inviting anyone who would dare ignore it to come and experience the delights of ascending to 5100 to meters through montane forest, Alpine forest, shrubbery and desert like terrain to magnificent snow capped peak. Its scenic beyond comprehension; simply a wonder of creation!!! feel free to let me know if some of you would want to make enquiries to that effect of hiking in Kenya.
    kind greetings,

  2.   Judyon 12 May 2014 at 1:48 pm

    We are so pleased you enjoyed the Flagstaff tramp, Maggie. We all enjoyed meeting you and sharing our special part of Dunedin with you. Thank you for your invitation to hike in Kenya. Mt Kenya sounds amazing – my feet got itchy just reading about it. I’m known as a bit of a wanderer, so you might just find me there one day!
    All the best from all of us at TRTC.
    Judy Knox

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