New Zealand Walk: Napier’s Bluff Hill Walk
When in Napier a popular tourist attraction is Bluff Hill with fantastic views of the port and as far way as Whirinaki.
While a number of folk go up their by vehicle, for the more energic there is a walk starting from Marine Parade.
Starting at the Ocean Spa pool complex, cross Marine Parade and take the Seaview Terrace steps. Turn right at Brewster Street where a ramp zigzags up the slope to Clyde Road. Here, continue uphill onto Gladstone Road.
The road has a left-hand dogleg and at the end of this, take the steps to the right. Turn right onto Coote Road and then continue up Thompson Road. Keeping the water tower and storage tanks to your left, turn right into Lighthouse Road.
The entrance to Sturm’s Gully Reserve, well signposted, is just before the road does a tight U-turn. (You will have gone too far if you see the bowling club on the right but the road nonetheless takes you to the Bluff Hill summit.)
A short distance into Sturm’s Gully, steps and a path on the right go up the hill and you will emerge at the Bluff Hill Lookout. Offering spectacular outlooks over Hawke Bay and the port of Napier, this viewing area was constructed over the top of a World War II coastal defence gun emplacement.
Walk back down to Sturm’s Gully, turning right when the path levels off. The reserve exits at Hornsey Road which continues down to the port. Turn right onto Breakwater Road, following it back to the walk’s starting point.
The 4.4km walk is graded hard.
Above: The viewing area at the top of Bluff Hill.
Middle: The start of the walk though Sturms Gulley Reserve. Below left: Coming up to the top of Sturms Gulley Reserve Track. Below right: Viewers on this day were able to view the “Ovation of the Seas” when she first visited Napier.
Above left: The information sign at the start of the Strums Galley Reserve. Above right: A view of the container area. Middle: The lookout at the top of Bluff Hill.