Jun 25 2020

Bull Ring, Swampy, Nicols, Pt Pineapple, Davies, ret

Published by under Trampers,Year round

No. 80 on old hardcopy list of 113 club tramps. “Bull Ring – Whare Flat. Swampy Year Round”
Click Dunedin’s Hills’ History for background information.
Click Swampy ridge track for background information.
Click Pineapple Track for background information.
Click Pineapple and Flagstaff walk for background information.


Nicols Creek circuit Maintained by Green Hut Track Group. DCC land.

Pineapple Track—the curious name of this track originates from a tradition involving a local grocer in the 1920’s.  He guided parties up a track in this area and would provide tinned pineapple as a refreshment at the top.  The empty cans were left as litter.

24/6/2020 FLAGSTAFF   WALKWAY   ONTO   SWAMPY   RIDGE   TRACK   and   RETURN. Leader Eleanore
After a couple of head counts our group of 24 (including 3 new faces) arrived at the Bull Ring at 10am to a very foggy morning.  As well as us,  staff were parked up waiting to spread gravel on Pineapple and Firebreak tracks, that was to be dropped by helicopter.  We commented that it would be something new to look at as we were walking.

After a short sharp climb we arrived at the Plane Table marked by a drainpipe at a height of round 660 metres for smoko, still in fog and no views we headed off again down and around to the Pineapple junction, passing by damage caused by a fire last year.


Photo and Caption John – “Morning tea – not to be MIST!”

This section of the Pineapple track was wet and slippery along with the odd patch of icy puddles, we had to make sure we kept our feet firmly on the ground!!


Photo and Caption Gordon – “You couln’t have MIST this group of trampers.”



Photo and Caption Gordon – “Still slogging up hill!”

We arrived at the junction of Swampy and Firebreak tracks at 11am, then continued through more mud, noticing quite a lot of broom had been recently cut down—-thanks to those concerned.


After some climbing along the way, passing Moon, Powerline, and Telecom Microwave Station tracks, we arrived at the Aircraft Navigation Station at the Swine Spur junction at 12:15pm.  Up till now, the only sight to be seen was the person in front of you!!  Occasionally, one hoped for the fog to lift,  so the amazing views could be enjoyed—so far, not happening.


Photo and Caption John – “Lunch at Swampy summit.”



Photo and Caption John – “Gotcha Dave!”

At 12:40pm, after a shortened lunch it was time to head for home, negotiating the slippery, slidey slopes along the way reaching the Firebreak junction in 1 hour, we took the shortcut back onto Flagstaff track, and enjoyed the mostly downhill walk to the cars, arriving at 2:30pm.


Photo and Caption Gordon – “Homeward bound.”

The boots covered a good 13kms.

This was the first tramp with the Club I have  been on that the fog never lifted the entire day.   We were ready for coffee,  cake and a yarn to celebrate our achievement at Blackstone Cafe.

As always, I hope you all enjoyed the day as much as I did.

16/9/2009. Bullring, Flagstaff Walkway, Swampy Ridge, Moon, Nicols Creek Track, New Track across to Pineapple, Pineapple, McGouns, Davies , Flagstaff Walkway Firebreak/Bullock, Bullring. Leaders: Ria, Hazel.
We walked from the Bullring across Flagstaff and Swampy Ridge until sheltering for morning tea stop some way down the upper Moon Track,
Morning tea on upper Moon.

Morning tea on upper Moon. (Ken pic). Ian and Doug. Ria and Hazel partially hidden.

then crossing to the other side of the valley.
Walking across headwaters from Moon on one side to Nicols Track on the other.

Walking across headwaters from Moon on one side to Nicols Track on the other. Doug, George.


Perhaps it was the thinner foliage of early spring, but none of us had remembered noticing before the huge old tree trunk just below Nicols Creek track, with growth still struggling for its old branches far above us if we craned our necks.
George making a close examination of extraordinarily large trunk which he identified as a Kahikatea.

George making a close examination of extraordinarily large trunk which he identified as a Kahikatea.

View across to the motorway from one of the few open patches on Nicols Track.

View across to the motorway from one of the few open patches on Nicols Track. Doug, George.


Ria and Hazel surprised us with a track leading off to the right just a little further on.
Surprising track off to the right.

Surprising track off to the right. Doug, George.


It took us through brief bush out into heavy grass and scrub and led almost vertically uphill diagonally back from the way we had come, and eventually, after a few hundred metres of stiff climbing, coming out onto overgrown pasture and across to join the Pineapple Track just above the point where it enters the bush.
By taking us on this novel route, our leaders avoided any road work, as we were able to descend the Pineapple track and join the McGouns track to come out at the partially vandalised stone cairn and plaque marking City Forests 100 years of forestry planting by the Dunedin City Council begun in 1906. Its surrounding seating made a good place for lunch.
Lunch at plaque

Lunch at plaque. (Ken pic). Ian, George, Doug, Ria, Hazel.

The plaque

The plaque. (Ken pic).


From there, a short walk along Drummonds Street connected us with Davies Track, which zigzagged up through regenerating natives to eventually continue climbing through mature bush.
Rest stop in Bush on Davies Track.

Rest stop in Bush on Davies Track. Ria, Ken, Doug.

Dunedin from Davies Track above bushline.

Dunedin from Davies Track above bushline.


Above the bush line, it was then through tussock and flax till we reached the Flagstaff Walkway. We decided to take the Firebreak/Old Bullock Track back to the cars. – Ian.


13/7/2005 Nicols, Swampy, Pineapple. Leaders: Lex, Doug J
26/7/1989. Swampy round trip from Pineapple Track carpark. Average+. Great views. Car shuttle if required. Leaders: Denise, Mary McG, Peggy M.

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