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The walk to Diana’s Peak follows Cabbage Tree Road, named after the endemic black cabbage trees along the path. Photo: 1 of 9
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Leaves of the endemic Tree Fern begin their lives curled up along the tree’s trunk. Photo: 2 of 9
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The leaves of a black cabbage tree illuminated in the sun. Photo: 3 of 9
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Wooden signs along the trail mark pathways that are no longer maintained. Photo: 4 of 9
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The St. Helena Airport runway in Longwood is clearly visible from the Diana’s Peak trail. Photo: 5 of 9
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The first peak is Mount Actaeon, distinguishable by the large Norfolk Pine on the summit (though there is some discrepancy as to which peak is Actaeon and which is Cuckold’s). Photo: 6 of 9
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Some of the more difficult parts of the walk are guided by steps and stairs. Photo: 7 of 9
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Fuschia, an invasive species, grows near the top of Diana’s Peak. Photo: 8 of 9
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Flagstaff and the Barn are visible from Diana’s Peak on a clear day. Photo: 9 of 9

Diana’s Peak

June 27, 2017 Photos by Emma Weaver, May 7

Diana’s Peak, one of the most popular Post Box walks, has an incredibly endemic-rich ecology. At 823 meters, it is the highest point on the St Helena, providing incredible views of the island on a clear day. Diana’s Peak has a 5/10 effort and terrain rating for the hour and a half walk. Diana’s Peak is situated between two other peaks, Mount Actaeon and Cuckold’s Point.


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The path to the top of High Peak is seen cutting through the grass and flax on the side of Sandy Bay Ridge. Photo: 1 of 8
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The St Helena Rebony is a hybrid of the St Helena dwarf Ebony and the St Helena Redwood. Photo: 2 of 8
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The rocky, sometimes-muddy path is overgrown at points. Photo: 3 of 8
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High Peak is near the Peak Dale walk, and both overlook Lot and Lot’s Wife in Sandy Bay. Photo: 4 of 8
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Trees along this walk are often gnarled and bent from the force of the wind. Photo: 5 of 8
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The Chinese Bath is a long, thin, shallow pool that was cut out of the rock by Chinese labourers. Photo: 6 of 8
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An endemic Black Cabbage Tree, outlined by the setting sun, rises above the rest of the vegetation. Photo: 7 of 8
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She Cabbages are endemic, and are found along the roadside at the beginning/end of the trail. Photo: 8 of 8

High Peak

June 13, 2017 Photos by Emma Weaver, April 17

High Peak has a 3/10 effort and terrain rating, and the elevation changes by only 100m over the 1.5km walk. Sheer slopes line the edge of the path at points, and vegetation has grown over the path in others. High Peak is on the south-west of the island, on Sandy Bay Ridge. Lots of endemics can be found along the walk.


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Rediscovered in 1980, the St. Helena ebony is one of the island’s most prized endemic species. Photo: 1 of 7
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Horse Pasture framed by lichen-covered trees. Photo: 2 of 7
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Mushrooms pop up frequently along Post Box walks, but few know which species exist on the island. Photo: 3 of 7
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Though this color tungi is inedible, other varieties serve as a main ingredient in the St. Helena Distillery’s Tungi liquor. Photo: 4 of 7
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The view of Old Woman’s Valley from the top of High Hill. Photo: 5 of 7
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Female diadem butterflies are common around the High Hill Post Box. Photo: 6 of 7
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A pine tree near the top of High Hill in the foreground of a view of Old Woman’s Valley. Photo: 7 of 7

High Hill

May 24, 2017 Photos by Emma Weaver, April 01

With a 4/10 terrain and a 3/10 effort rating, High Hill is a steep but relatively-easy Post Box walk. A trek up phonolitic rock leads out to the windswept top of High Hill. The walk is 2km, and on average takes 45 minutes up and 30 minutes down. Watch full walk.


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The Paint Box provides a stunning background to one of the many bicycle signs found along the Cox’s Battery walk. Photo: 1 of 9
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Moss and Baby’s Toes grow along exposed layers of the Paint Box. Photo: 2 of 9
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National Trust employee James Fantom, Six Months a Saint’s Sarah Pitts and Saint Helenian descendent Zaidah Martin-Green walk toward The Barn (a separate Post Box Walk). Photo: 3 of 9
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Ice Plants, found in purple and green on the island, are edible. Because of their unique appearance and taste, Ice Plants are used as fancy toppings in other parts of the world. Photo: 4 of 9
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The root of a fallen tungi sticks dramatically up into the air. Photo: 5 of 9
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The police force uses this area of the Cox’s Battery path as its practice firing range. Photo: 6 of 9
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A rusted quarry-working machine sits just past the police firing range. Photo: 7 of 9
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Either Cox’s Battery or Gregory’s Battery - there is discrepancy in old maps as to which battery is which - is found at the end of the walk. Photo: 8 of 9
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Erosion has carved incredible patterns into the rocks beside Turk’s Cap. Photo: 9 of 9

Cox's Battery

May 12, 2017 Photos by Emma Weaver, April 13

Cox’s Battery has an effort rating of 3/10 and a terrain rating of 2/10, but has some steep drop-offs. The walk takes 45 minutes there and an hour back, and has an elevation change of 430 down to 280m. The walk is rocky, with views of the Paint Box, the police firing range and stunning geological features around Turk’s Cap at the end of the walk.


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Wirebird Team member Benjy Lawrence holds a wirebird chick near South-West Point. Photo by Emma Weaver. Photo: 1 of 9
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Long, wiry legs are immediately apparent, even in young chicks like this one. Photo by Emma Weaver. Photo: 2 of 9
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Chicks are extremely fuzzy, are fast runners and are usually difficult to spot. Photo by Emma Weaver. Photo: 3 of 9
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A wirebird chick overlooks Man and Horse. Photo by Emma Weaver. Photo: 4 of 9
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Wirebirds nest between September and March each year. The wirebird census is carried out each January. Photo by James Fantom. Photo: 5 of 9
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The male and female take turns nesting, and it’s difficult to tell the genders apart. Photo by James Fantom. Photo: 6 of 9
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A wirebird nests, with Flagstaff in the background. Photo by James Fantom. Photo: 7 of 9
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Wirebirds “broken wing” - pretend they are injured - to distract predators away from chicks and nests. Photo by Emma Weaver. Photo: 8 of 9
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Wirebirds nest in the ground, and often nest along roadsides and sports fields, which endangers the eggs. Photo by James Fantom. Photo: 9 of 9

Wirebirds

May 02, 2017

The St. Helena plover (Charadrius sanctaehelenae), locally known as the wirebird, is the island’s last surviving endemic land bird. Wirebird Monitoring Officer Denny Leo, who is typically aided by just one team member for 11 months of the year, said the species is categorized as ‘vulnerable’ on the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds' (RSPB) endangered list. Although the St. Helena Airport was built on the wirebird’s main habitat, the bird has so far adapted well to other areas of the island.


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Denny Leo and Benjy Lawrence, the National Trust Wirebird Team, walk through low-hanging cloud near the start of the South-West Point walk. Photo: 1 of 7
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At the close of wirebird season, around the end of March, newborn wirebird chicks can be spotted at South-West Point - if you’ve got a keen eye. Photo: 2 of 7
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Leo pauses for a lunch break on the cliffside after cat-trap monitoring all morning. Photo: 3 of 7
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Leo and Lawrence monitor cat traps around the island during wirebird season, when feral cats endanger the survival of wirebird chicks. Photo: 4 of 7
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Though the pasturelands along South-West Point are now mainly green, patches of cracked mud show how the land was once over-grazed. Photo: 5 of 7
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Trees in many areas of the island are bent from the force of the wind. Photo: 6 of 7
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Leo and Lawrence, who give tours of the island, overlook the south-western side of St. Helena. Photo: 7 of 7

South-West Point

April 21, 2017 Photos by Emma Weaver, March 23

At 7.5km, South-West Point takes an hour and a quarter each way. The walk, found beyond Thompson’s Wood, provides dramatic views of rolling pastureland, and the occasional sheep keep walkers company on the trek. The walk has a 3/10 terrain rating and a 4/10 effort rating.


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Saints frequently use fish (mackerel pictured here) as bait. Photo by Emma Weaver. Photo: 1 of 8
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At Rupert’s Bay, a freshly-caught fish swims circles in a bucket of ocean water. Photo by Emma Weaver. Photo: 2 of 8
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Saint Helenian descendant Zaidah Martin-Green catches her first fish ever, a Greenfish (St. Helena Wrasse). Photo by Emma Weaver. Photo: 3 of 8
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Greenfish are endemic, so fishers unhook them and throw them back in the ocean. Photo by Emma Weaver. Photo: 4 of 8
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An Old Wife – which would be fried for Good Friday dinner the following day - lies on the jetty. Photo by Emma Weaver. Photo: 5 of 8
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Those who began fishing in the early afternoon had sunning views and warm weather Maundy Thursday. Photo by Emma Weaver. Photo: 6 of 8
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Mavis Benjamin fishes with a traditional bamboo rod, with the line tied to the end. Photo by Sarah Pitts. Photo: 7 of 8
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Families gather on the wharf to fish and to wait for fishing boats to return. Photo by Sarah Pitts. Photo: 8 of 8

Maundy Thursday

April 14, 2017 Photos by Emma Weaver, April 13

On St. Helena, Maundy Thursday is the day before Good Friday. Many get the afternoon off work so they can begin fishing, while some chose to instead fish at night. Catches are traditionally used for Good Friday fish fries the next day.


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The Peak Dale walk takes hikers through flax, eucalyptus forests and sometimes low-hanging cloud below Sandy Bay Ridge. Photo: 1 of 8
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Machete in hand, St. Helena National Trust employee James Fantom makes his way through fern and eucalyptus trees. Photo: 2 of 8
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Watch out for Devil’s Fingers (Clathrus archeri), which emit an unpleasant odor to attract flies, along the path. Photo: 3 of 8
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Part of the Peak Dale trail, which forms a loop, takes walkers through a eucalyptus forest. Photo: 4 of 8
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The last of the island’s ancient stands of endemic Gumwoods awaits at the end of the walk. Photo: 5 of 8
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A post box marks the end of each of St. Helena’s 22 Post Box walks; Peak Dale’s, like most others, is made of PVC. Photo: 6 of 8
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Hooper’s Rock overlooks Sandy Bay, when its not overlooking cloud. Photo: 7 of 8
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Flax, common around Peak Dale, is an invasive species that once served as the island’s biggest export. Photo: 8 of 8

Peak Dale

April 12, 2017 Photos by Emma Weaver, April 01

Peak Dale is one of the island’s easiest walks, with a 2/10 terrain and a 3/10 effort rating. The 7km walk, beginning near Blue Hill, is spotted with fern, eucalyptus and gumwood. The walk provides stunning views of Sandy Bay on clear days, and a Jurassic-Park feel when it's cloudy. If you walk the whole loop, expect to spend 45 minutes walking out and an hour walking back.