Grade
Easy
Distance
6.5km
Walking
1 hour
Cycling
20 minutes
Information for this trail was last updated April 2024
There is currently 1 information alert for this trail:

Trail closed

Tūranga Gardens, enclosing the Elizabeth Williams Walkway, is currently closed. Two slips have exposed some old asbestos waste from the demolition of Cook Hospital and GDC has closed the reserve because of this safety concern. 

Last updated: Jan 2, 2024, 11:58 AM

On this pleasant one to two-hour circuit walk, or 20-minute cycle ride, you will experience a variety of topography and landscapes. Starting from the busy local shopping centre at Ballance Street Village and walking anti-clockwise, the circuit takes you through neat suburban properties, over Barkers Hill into the semi-rural lifestyle property enclave of Valley Road. Much of Valley Road is lined with large oak and pin oak trees, with orchards and farmland.  

A footpath continues over the Ballance Street Hill (also known as Barkers Hill) to Massey Road. Walking on the right-hand side of the road or grass verge is the best option through to the Farmyard Early Learning Centre.

This well-used circuit for walking and cycling adds to the network of recreational connections for residents and visitors.

Look out for the gravel road opposite the Farmyard Early Learning Centre, once the back entrance to Cook Hospital. This right-of-way is also the driveway for a couple of lifestyle blocks, and the letterbox for 181 Valley Road is on the right. Follow the right-of-way to the top of Hospital Hill where there are alternate trails to Hillview Terrace -- either along the Elizabeth Williams Walkway through Tūranga Gardens to Diana Avenue (this route is currently closed), or beside the 38,000m3 concrete water reservoir. It is worth a pause at a lookout over Tūranganui a Kiwa near the end of Hillview Terrace. 

To complete the circuit, follow Hillview Terrace and suburban streets back to Ballance Street Village.

 

Barkers Hill - Hospital Hill Circuit

History of the trail

Hospital Hill was the site of Gisborne's Cook Hospital between 1914 and 1985, although maternity services moved in 1969 to the current hospital site in Ormond Road. 

In 1985, a new hospital was opened on the current site on Ormond Road, and in 1988 the hospital on the hill site was demolished. The Valley Road entrance to Cook Hospital Hill is the route used by hearses to allow for discreet entry and exit from the hospital.

Cook Hospital nurses placed a commemorative stone on Hospital Hill in 2000, as part of a reunion, to remember all the staff and people of the Gisborne East Coast region who shared joys and sorrows on the hill.

Unfortunately, rubble from the hospital demolition was bulldozed into the gully that is now Tūranga Gardens. The Elizabeth Williams Walkway and the Gardens, which include paths, bridges, steps, and picnic areas, were created thanks to thousands of volunteer hours. Gisborne District Council temporarily closed the area due to slips in 2023 exposing landfill material containing asbestos.

Tips & Logistics

The streets to follow for this circuit are - Ballance Street, Barkers Hill, Valley Road, Hospital Hill (Valley Road back entrance), Diana Ave, Hillview Tce, Oswald Street, Mangapapa Road, Clifford Street, Ballance Street. 

Mangapapa Reserve, a Gisborne District Council neighbourhood reserve, adjacent to Hospital Road has a public toilet, play equipment and picnic tables.