Wooded Peak (1111 m) is a prominent forested peak located between Fringed Hill and Dun Mountain, and accessed via Dun Mountain Trail. Climbing the summit is challenging, with steep terrain, jagged limestone outcrops and a sometimes vague track making it best-suited to experienced and fit individuals.
Wooded Peak was originally named ‘Big Twin’ in reference to nearby Little Twin, even though the latter is the taller of the two (1143 m).
|Length: Wooded Peak Track is 3.7 km; Return circuit from Maitai Dam via Dun Mountain Trail and Sunrise Ridge is 23.8 km; Return circuit from Brook Valley via Dun Mountain Trail is 22.9 km||Time Required: 4-6 hr for full circuit from either Maitai Dam or Brook Valley|
|Trail Type: Walking track/Poled route||Physical Difficulty: Hard|
|Uses: Walking only||Primary Direction: Either|
|Start Elevation: 682 m (Junction Saddle) or 845 m (Windy Point)||Max Elevation: 1111 m|
|Dog Access: Dogs are prohibited in Maitai Water Reserve||Links to: Dun Mountain Trail, Black Diamond Ridge|
|Length: Wooded Peak Track is 3.7 km; Return circuit from Maitai Dam via Dun Mountain Trail and Sunrise Ridge is 23.8 km; Return circuit from Brook Valley via Dun Mountain Trail is 22.9 km|
|Time Required: 4-6 hr for full circuit from either Maitai Dam or Brook Valley|
|Trail Type: Walking track/Poled route|
|Physical Difficulty: Hard|
|Uses: Walking only|
|Primary Direction: Either|
|Start Elevation: 682 m (Junction Saddle) or 845 m (Windy Point)|
|Max Elevation: 1111 m|
|Dog Access: Dogs are prohibited in Maitai Water Reserve|
|Links to: Dun Mountain Trail, Black Diamond Ridge|
Wooded Peak Track is accessed via Dun Mountain Trail, with its two respective ends connecting to the latter at Junction Saddle and Windy Point. The track itself is 3.6 km, though the majority of the time and distance required will be used getting to and from the track (which will add up to be over 20 km). Junction Saddle and Windy Point are equally as as far from the respective road ends of Brook Valley and Maitai Valley.
If you plan to climb Wooded Peak from Maitai Dam, consider creating a circuit with Dun Mountain Trail, Wooded Peak and Sunrise Ridge. Likewise if you plan to start in Brook Valley, you can create a great circuit by combining Dun Mountain Trail, Wooded Peak, Black Diamond Ridge and Fringed Hill Classic.
Beginning at Windy Point the poled route climbs steeply through the mineral belt up Wells Ridge. The route isn’t always obvious among the tussock and alpine scrub, but the ridge is narrow and easy enough to follow. There are great views of the mineral belt and Richmond Ranges, with Blue Knob standing prominently across the valley immediately south.
The treeline is reached at 980 m elevation. The forest is mountain beech with grassy undergrowth, and as the track is not overly popular it is not well-worn, so pay careful attention to the orange markers. As the track climbs toward point 1092 m on the topo map the forest transitions to an interesting area of stunted mountain beech, where the canopy isn’t too far above head height.
The ridge dips before rising again to the summit. The ridge is presumably vulnerable to the high winds as the ground is littered with broken dead branches. As you climb toward the summit you will notice an increasing presence of exposed limestone outcrops. The summit (1111 m) is marked by a steel pole that has been hammered into a mound of limestone. Unfortunately the summit is a bit of an anticlimax, with trees obscuring the view (the peak’s name indicates that this might be the case).
West of the summit the track follows a sharp ridge with a very steep drop-off to the south. There are several openings in the trees that allow great views southward. In several places you will need to clamber over vertically-oriented outcrops of limestone. The steep descent lasts a few hundred metres before the gradient of the ridge eases, and the track passes through red beech forest for the remainder of the distance to Junction Saddle.
Near the summit the track is very steep, and great care is required when climbing over the limestone outcrops. The track is not obvious in places so good navigation skills may be necessary. As the track reaches high elevation, ensure that you bring appropriate outdoor clothing.