Apr 01 2021

Goodwood Road, Bobby’s Head, Puketapu

Published by under Trampers,Year round

69 km from car-park

31/3/2021. Hikers. Leaders Dave Roberts and John Gardiner

On a pleasant morning with a questionable (two way bet type) weather forecast IE – Mostly cloudy, isolated showers, at 9.50 a.m. 14 Hikers in 5 cars rendezvoused at the Waikouaiti Community Centre. Twelve hikers journeyed from Mosgiel , Dave and I direct from Dunedin. The convoy, led by Jill Dodd travelled north, turning right into Goodwood Road, then right again, into the gravel, Bobby’s Hill Road, to reach the hike’s starting point. We arrived at 10.15 am.at  Goodwood Road being South of Palmerston.  After a brief warm up walk along a pleasant, grassy track, morning tea was enjoyed at 10.35 a.m. on the Waikouaiti Beach.

Morning tea on the beach

Morning tea on the beach (Photo and caption John Gardiner)

By 10.55 a.m. we were on our way again beginning our circular hike up and around Bobby’s Head. As we climbed we were treated to magnificent views looking South back to the beach and coastline beyond.

What a view

What a view. (Photo and caption John)

With frequent stops to regroup, a ‘park bench’ halfway up  the hill became a  resting spot for Clive, Jay, Lester and Shona. Upon rounding the point of Bobby’s Head we were treated to more spectacular scenery. First a cave calved out of a cliff face, later the sight of young Fur Seals frolicking in their crèche, being a sheltered cove.

Rounding Bobby's Head

Rounding Bobby’s Head
(Photo and caption John)

Soon the bush opened out into open farmland, and with little wind, we were able to have lunch in a sunny spot, just before mid-day.
Lunch in the sun

Lunch in the sun
(Photo and caption John)

From here it was a pleasant walkdown to Bobby’s Hill Road, which took us back to our cars. On this part of the hike we were joined by a flock of sheep who wandered alongside us (still in their paddock) matching our pace. One sheep, having  somehow crossed the fence even took over from Dave as our leader (no flouro vest!). She soon sped up to ‘Trampers Pace’ and left us behind however!
Sheep on the right, coming for a hike

Sheep on the right, coming for a hike
(Photo and caption John)

Having returned to the cars at 1.10 p.m. the second part of our hike began. our route back to the motorway, we turned off at the Karitane intersection and were soon traveling on the Old Coast Road. After a short stop at the Karitane Lookout we proceeded to the Warrington Domain. From here the more energetic members of our group walked along Warrington Beach.
Karitane lookout view

Karitane Lookout view
(Photo and caption John)

It was here that the morning’s questionable weather forecast began to make sense! Looking towards the northern end of the beach storm clouds were brewing in a dark grey ominous sky, to the south blue was the dominant colour. With the ‘mostly cloudy’ bit right, caution prevailed and isolated showers did look like an understatement! We headed back to the cars, then on to Blueskin Cafe, arriving at 2.20p.m. for refreshments and socializing.
A special welcome to new member Cathy, this being your first hike with us,  I  hope you enjoyed yourself? A thank you to Jill Dodd for her help, and cooperation in letting Dave and I ‘tap into’ her knowledge of the area.

21/03/2020 Trampers.  Goodwood/Puketapu.  Leaders Jill D and Jenni
15 trampers ventured out this Wednesday 1stly to do a loop walk round Bobbies headland following a well maintained track through the Tavora reserve.

Photo and Caption Jenni – “Stunning views of Tavora Reserve.”

This area is just north of Waikouaiti and out to the coast. The Tavora reserve is maintained by the Yellow Eyed Penguin Trust. (Tavora is the old name for penguin). They have done extensive replanting in the area to  try and recreate the original vegetation.  A relatively easy track zig zags up to the headland. Here there are magnificent views up and down the coastlines.

Photo and Caption John – “Rugged coastline.”

We had our morning tea on the beach and spotted seals under the cliff on the rocky outcrops.
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Photo and Caption Gordon – “Morning tea in the sand dunes.


Photo and Caption John – “Seals watching us have morning tea.”

The headland was once (18,000,000 years ago), an active volcano.
This walk took about an hour.

Photo and Caption John – “Erosion like rust never sleeps.”


Photo and Caption Jenni – “Returning the information sheet at the end of the reserve.”

From here we travelled by inland route 10 kms to Palmerston where Puketapu the 300 m Sacred Hill is situated, a landmark on the surrounding countryside.
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Photo and Caption John – “Starting up Puketapu.”

The track starts relatively easily, across the face of Puketapu crossing several elaborate fence like styles.
The last 50 m is straight up to the famous monument in memory of James McKenzie.

Photo and Caption Gordon – “A real stiff climb to the tower.”



Photo and Caption John – “The McKenzie plaque.”

This monument is 13 m high with an internal metal stairway to a viewing platform. From here there is a superb 360 degree panorama south to the Otago Peninsula inland towards the Pigroot, to the Maniototo and north to the Shag river Waitaki district.

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Photo and Caption Jenni – “Karen on top of the world.”

At the summit we enjoyed a leisurely lunch break taking in the view and very little wind to spoil the day.

Photo and Caption Gordon – “Lunch at the tower.”



Photo and Caption John – “Taking in the view from the top.”



Photo and Caption Gordon – “A view of Mt Watkins from the top of the tower.”

Our return trip down followed a sheep track till we met the gentler slopes again. Sheep and cattle grazed unconcerned with the humans passing by.


Photo and Caption Jenni – “Cattle unconcerned as we wander by.”

As a side each year there is the annual Kelly’s canter race up and down Puketapu at a much quicker pace than us!
In the last 6 weeks we have summited 3 prominent peaks Mt Watkins, Mt Charles and now Puketapu great effort by all.
Total for the 2 walks 8.3 kms but 94 floors !!
We debriefed at Blueskin nurseries cafe.
Jenni and Jill D

24/1/2012. Trampers. Goodwood. Ken.
4 of us went to Goodwood Rd. just south of Palmerston, & then onto Bobby’s head Rd. It was drizzling some of the way there, & the conditions didn’t look all that good with low cloud etc. We parked at the interpretation sign, & walked along the cut grass track to the beach, where there is another interpretation sign. We climbed the hill, on the cut grass track, up onto the top of the ridge leading to Bobby’s Head, stopping at a bench seat to have morning tea. We continued on around this track, taking time to look at the view along the coast.

View North from Bobbys Head. (Ken pic and caption)

Rugged Coast. (Ken pic and caption)

By the time we got to the end of this track back at the road, it was only 11:20am and steady drizzle, so we decided to go & see what conditions were like at Palmerston, with a view to climbing Puketapu. The drizzle had stopped when we got there, so we set off to climb to the top. We had lunch inside the monument at the top, …

Looking out the door of Puketapu at lunchtime. (Ken pic and caption)

… where the view was sometimes completly obscured with fog/cloud, & then made or way down the VERY STEEP track, back to the car.
All enjoyed the day, although we hadn’t walked very far, but the climb up Puketapu certainly tests ones legs & lungs. – Ken.
14/5/2003. Trampers. Bobbys Head, Goodwood. George, Ria L.
George & Bob H on beach towards Bobbys Head

George & Bob H on beach towards Bobbys Head

Bobbys Head profile

Bobbys Head profile

Bobbys Head coastal cliffs

Bobbys Head coastal cliffs


Bobbys Head from South

Bobbys Head from South

Returning from Puketapu

Returning from Puketapu

22/11/1987 Goodwood, Bobby’s Head. Leaders:

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Goodwood Road, Bobby’s Head, Puketapu”

  1.   Angelaon 29 Jan 2012 at 7:47 pm

    The views of Bobby’s Head were amazing


  2.   debbieon 09 Jun 2012 at 10:17 pm

    bloody near killed us afortnight ago. track so steep took longer to walk down


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