Brasenose, Flag Peak circuit

  • 1 hr – 3 hr loop track
  • Medium

Short ramble with a bit of off-track scramble of a couple of hours' duration which can be extended by lunch or carrying on north to Stony Bay Peak.

This can be a whole day trip by ascending to the ridgeline from Akaroa via the Purple Peak track and then descending from the ridge back to Akaroa via Lighthouse Rd.

Key information
Walking time
0 – 1 day
1 hr – 3 hr
Loop track
Loop track
Although this is a trip of short duration there is rock scrambling, walking through long grass, a choice of scrubby bush or unpruned pine forest and finally a bit of gorse along the way. Grades explained
No bookings — open access
No — open access
Find it
Misty Peak Reserve carpark 300m north from Lighthouse Rd/Flea Bay Rd junction.
Same location if doing this as the circuit option.
590m – 806m
Altitude change 216m

Park at the Misty Peak Reserve car pack, 300 metres north of where Flea Bay Rd runs off the Lighthouse Rd. Walk 800 metres north along the track (abandoned 4WD track) until you reach a small grassy saddle interspersed with light scrub,and travel on the western side of the spur on to the summit of Brasenose. Observant people will notice a consolidation in the grass denoting a foot trail which will guide you on the most efficient course to take through the scrub and smooth rock outcrops on the way.

A high point is marked with a cairn and a spectacular view of Akaroa Harbour and the Banks Peninsula skyline. This is actually not the summit of Brasenose. It is hidden at the edge of a unmaintained pine forest. Enter this forest, skirting the edge where it segues into divaricated scrubland beyond a barb-wire fence. Travel is probably easiest along a smooth ridgeline close to the fence. You will notice this is a trapline so it's easy to follow.

There is a stile close to the southern sharp corner of this forest but stay in the forest because around the corner the gorse is completely solid where there was once a route through it.

Where you can see the gorse is no longer growing east of the forest head into the open grassland and not long after this you will see the red poles marking the Misty Peaks walkway. There is no obvious track here to Flag Peak but the way is straightforward and the wire fence line is derelict so easy to step over at will.

The summit of Flag Peak is festooned with telecommunications hardware and solar panels but very scenic. Red-edged glossy Heliohebe lavaudiana (Raoul) blooms here in Oct-November. It is only endemic to Banks Peninsula and threatened by gorse so be sure to kill any gorse you see growing on this ridge. There is a nice sheltered spot from westerly winds on the eastern side on soft moss if you don't mind the accompaniment of faint humming of various wires.

From here to make a truly masochistic loop and see a better display of heliohebe you can travel along the ridge and drop down on the eastern side through headhigh tussocks and flaxes booby-trapped with spaniards. Frank has hacked a route through the gorse to link up with further ridges north. It's all very scenic and pleasant scrambling along the rocks as long as you don't mind the feeling of death by a thousand cuts of wild spaniards, bush lawyer and gorse simultaneously.

Where a fence turns east, you can drop down to the Misty Peak Reserve track from a saddle through grass. Misty Peak may refer to the picturesque summit further north formerly known as Brerard. This is guarded by ramparts of basalt and gorse but has a trig. Another challenge, perhaps?

To complete the loop, travel south along the track to where your journey crossed it just south of Flag Peak and now follow a continuation of this 4WD track downhill to sidle around a spur and the head of a stream which drains into Damons Bay. This track climbs gently back up to the ridgeline where you left the track to climb to Brasenose.





This track needs a photograph.
ID 14523

About this track

Added 7 December 2014 by HonoraHonora. 1 revision 15 June 2018 by HonoraHonora.
128 views in the past year (11 per month).