Te Mata Peak is part of Te Mata Park, which is situated just south of Havelock North in Hawkes Bay on the North Island of New Zealand.
The land was part of a block that was bought by one of the original European settlers in 1862 for farming purposes. It was gifted to the people of Hawkes Bay by his sons in 1927.
It is now run by a charitable trust as a recreational reserve.
Te Mata Peak seen from the west. With a bit of imagination you can see the profile of a ‘Sleeping Giant’ lying on his back. You can get a bit more info on this legend if you click on this link, Sleeping Giant.
A network of walking and cycling tracks have been put in to place over the years. They are very well defined and colour coded.
To get to the entrance of the Park you turn into Simla Ave from Te Mata Ave in Havelock North and keep following the road, which will turn into Te Mata Road, until you get to the main gates. There is a spacious carpark for the people who would like to use the walking/cycling tracks. The lazy people can keep following the road right to the Summit Car Park, from where you still have to climb a few metres to the actual summit.
On October 18 2015 the Napier Family Tramping Group hiked from the Main Gates Carpark to the summit. First we went to the Big Redwoods using the red trail. From there on we used the blue trail to go to the summit and then back down again back to the car park.
Amazing to find these marine fossils right along the track, 15 to 20km (10 to 13 miles) away from the ocean and a few hundred metres (feet) above sea level. From these fossils scientists worked out that Te Mata Peak was lifted up from the ocean about 2 to 3 million years ago.