Saturday 3rd September 2022
Location: Hebden Crescent, Kelson, Lower Hutt 5010 (There's a camping ground at Dry Creek with toilets and drinking water.)
We started off in the Dry Creek car park. There's an information booth there with a map and a track leading up to your left. It's another Greater Wellington Regional Council track so the signage is great (we've come to expect that now).
It's a wide access track so while it was a bit of a trudge up the hill, it wasn't hard going. We stopped a lot in the first 15min to put on jerseys/take them off - no-one could decide if they were too hot or too cold.
As our elevation increased so did the blustering wind. We found a seat about halfway up where we stopped for a biscuit and sip of water (it was semi sheltered by the hill behind us). The kids were glad they had their hats, no-one in our family likes cold ears.
From there the track starts to feel more like a firebreak, shingle giving way to clay. We then came to a sign that leads to Kelson (if you started from that entrance, it'd be a much shorter climb!)
We continued up the hill, committed to reaching the top. The views were already spectacular.
As we near Boulder Hill summit the temperature starts to drop, and the wind is howling. Everyone puts on their puffers and Miss 7 holds our hand to keep her from blowing away.
The kids hide behind one of the boulders for shelter. The view is amazing, so they are exhilarated. They yell as the wind screams past them; their voices carried off by the wind. They can barely stand up. We're at the top of the world.
We had grand plans to do the full walk to Petone, but we see the sign saying that the access is closed due to calving (would have been good to know that at the bottom). We all feel a bit disappointed but looking out at the potentially angry mummy cows we decide that we should retrace our steps back to the car having already had a spectacular morning. The wind was such that it probably wouldn't have been a good idea to keep going anyway.
Age of Kids: Miss 7 and Master 10
Walking Time: 2-3 hours
Length: around 8km (return)
Difficulty: Moderate (it's a bit of a sleep climb up)
Wet Feet: No
Amenities: There's a toilet at Dry Creek and a seat halfway up the hill
Dogs: No (you walk across a working farm)
Cellphone Reception: Yes
Be Aware: It's a steep climb and quite exposed so we were happy we had our puffers, hats and sunscreen