‘Big Easy’ pays off with city views

A sign at the base of Signal Hill with details of all the tracks. PHOTOS: JESSICA WILSON
A sign at the base of Signal Hill with details of all the tracks. PHOTOS: JESSICA WILSON
A section of The Big Easy.
A section of The Big Easy.
A section of The Big Easy, near the top of the hill.
A section of The Big Easy, near the top of the hill.
The top of The Big Easy, on Signal Hill, with a view of Dunedin.
The top of The Big Easy, on Signal Hill, with a view of Dunedin.
The start of The Big Easy walk, on Signal Hill.
The start of The Big Easy walk, on Signal Hill.
A view of Dunedin, including the Caledonian Ground, from The Big Easy.
A view of Dunedin, including the Caledonian Ground, from The Big Easy.
The long, warm days of summer give us more opportunity to enjoy some exercise in the great outdoors. In a series, The Star reporters share their favourite walks with you. This week, Jessica Wilson talks about The Big Easy, on Signal Hill.

A winding climb with views of Dunedin, The Big Easy is the ideal track for walkers and runners who are keen for some exercise.

Mountain Biking Otago started building the track in 2010 and it is one of the most popular ones on Signal Hill.

To get there, head to the Logan Park High School car park and stick to the left along the gravel road.

At the end of the road is a car park at the base of the hill, where many mountain bike tracks end.

The Signal Hill MTB Park sign gives good information about each of the tracks, including the difficulty level for mountain bikers.

The Big Easy is one of the only tracks walkers are permitted on.

It starts under the wooden frame at the northern end of the park — look for the signs.

The track is winding with slight inclines and declines as it traverses its way around the hill.

At times, other tracks cross through it so pay attention to the warning signs.

In general, it is good to be aware of other people using the track, including runners and mountain bikers, and give way to them.

The track is mostly sheltered and has great views of the city below.

Along the way you will see the historic Opoho fish ponds, which were discovered when the track was being built, before reaching a plateau at the halfway mark and finishing at the top of the hill near the monument.

It is a long, constant walk and one you will need to set aside at least an hour for — even more if you head back down.

It is a great way to get a taste of what Signal Hill has to offer.

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