New Zealand Walk: Napier’s Bluff Hill Walk

Walking New Zealand - - Contents -

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.

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