Our last summit ended with a well deserved swim at Pauanui Beach before packing up and making the short drive from Pauanui to Tairua for an earlyish dinner to restock our energy levels and head up to Paku Hill and claim another summit in the activation log. Paku Hill stands high above Tairua and you can follow the road up a good chunk of the hill, before parking up and making your way to the summit on foot. The track is well set out and has signs along the way with a bit of history about the area and Paku Hill itself.
The last of the climb once the man made track runs out is rocks to climb, though there is a track and path carved out among them in parts, and the climb is short and relatively easy. As with most summits, the views from the top are impressive, out over Tairua, Pauanui and surrounding areas.
Once set up on the summit Warren took some time to make contact with people on the air due to lightening, but in time and after a bit of patience contacts were made and Paku Hill was activated and in the log.
As we sat and admired the views, we were treated by a not so every day sight. Two acrobatic planes spent about half an hour flying around the skies above us putting on a show for summer holiday makers, tourists and locals of the area.
The early evening DX gave rise to contacts in VK and ZL, as well as Warrens first contact into USA from a SOTA summit, on 14 MHz. There is plenty of foot traffic up this hill so expect to answer a few questions about SOTA and amateur radio if you are visiting the summit in the future.
Summit height – 179 m
Access via roadside car park at end of Tirinui Cresent. Walk to top from there.
Nominal time to summit – 15 minute walk.
Summit marker – Trig Station.
Land access permission – Public land – not required.