This is the shortest and easiest of the three paths to the summit. It takes roughly 2.5 hours to walk the 3.3 kilometer track.
DoC Alert for Great Bartrier Island / Aotea
31 August 2016 – Palmers Track to Hirakimata (Mt Hobson) is closed ‘Until Further Notice’ from 5 September 2016 whilst upgrading work is undertaken.
The track begins at the top of Whangapoua Hill on Aotea Road and climbs numerous steps through the sheer rock faces of Windy Canyon (10 minutes from the road). There are splendid views of Okiwi Basin and Whangapoua Beach and estuary to the north, and Kaitoke and Medlands beaches to the east. The track follows the ridge offering constantly changing vistas in every direction before climbing steeply to the summit, traversing steep inclines via an impressive system of steps and stairways. Healthy examples of the endemic plant prostrate kānuka can be seen among regenerating forest. On the ridge still stands the ‘wooden horse’, a sturdy H-frame used for winching logs from the eastern slopes up and over the saddle, before sending them plummeting down the other side on their way to the sea. Mt Hobson (Hirakimata) is the site of several rare species. It is the favoured choice of the tomtit, black petrel and recently re-introduced North Island robin, and is frequented by kākāriki and kākā. The beautiful endemic Great Barrier tree daisy and tiny sun dews like it here as well.