The Hooker Valley Track
The Hooker Valley Track is a stunning shorter walk in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park in Canterbury, and you'll get some of the best views in New Zealand for very little effort. Don't miss the chance to see the spectacular alpine scenery including glaciers, mountain rivers and glacial lakes. On a good weather day you are treated to uninterrupted views of New Zealand's highest mountain Aoraki/Mount Cook (3,724m). Be warned though, this is one of the most...
Hakatere Conservation Park - Mount Guy
The Hakatere Conservation Park is a beautiful area of Canterbury, a couple of hours drive inland from Christchurch. Situated between two mighty rivers, the Rakaia and Rangitata, you'll find a little bit of everything. It has beech forests, open tussock, huge mountains, rivers, lakes and wetland habitats. It is an area of natural importance which harbours a huge variety of native plants and wildlife.
Hakatere Conservation Park and Ashburton Lakes
This beautiful area of Canterbury is situated between the Rakaia and Rangitata rivers, a couple of hours drive inland from Christchurch. I wanted to return and explore the area a little, having walked through it on Te Araroa trail last year.
I drove in on the Ashburton Gorge Road 25Kms out of Mt Somers having van camped overnight in the (very handy Ashburton District Council designated freedom camping area) Bowyers Stream Scenic...
Peel Forest Park
Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve is 22kms North of Geraldine in Canterbury, close the Rangitata river. It has a variety of walks, a popular mountain climb, a great cafe, a lovely serviced DoC campground and a free freedom campground nearby. I sampled all of them :-)
Te Araroa trail - Rangitata River
My time in this area started with a trip down memory lane. I booked into the Peel Forest DoC campsite, and just as I was about to turn into it, I saw a...
Today is my final day on Te Araroa Trail!! We all woke around 6.30am this morning. Laura was off first, heading NOBO up to Stag Saddle. The morning was fresh but not too cold, and thankfully it wasn't raining! Phil, Mike and I headed out around 8am. My last day on Te Araroa Trail started pretty easily walking down the Camp Stream river valley, which meant wet feet within 10 minutes..sigh..
We turned into Coal Stream river valley and went up and over the hills to then walked parallel...
I had a great night sleep and woke up bright & breezy at 6am. We got going at 7.30am and immediately had a stream crossing - wet feet again! We launched into a 650m climb straight away up to the Bullock Bow Saddle, which took 1.5 hrs to climb up to 1682m elevation. On the way up we saw a 'tahr'. This is a large Himalayan goat-like animal which lives in the New Zealand mountains. It was on the ridge line for some time checking us out, and ran away when we approached.
Over the saddle...