Sugarloaf, Rockburn and Lake Sylvan Loop

Dart sugarloaf Pass track

Sugarloaf, Rockburn and Lake Sylvan loop

This is a great little 15Km hike in Mount Aspiring National Park. It takes in the Sugarloaf Pass via the Sugarloaf track, then heads down the Rockburn track to the old Rockburn shelter site. Finally it picks up the Sylvan track around Lake Sylvan and back to the Sylvan DoC campsite. Apart from the initial 650m climb, it is a moderate (I didn't find it too easy nor difficult) loop trail, and I made it in a 7 hour day. DoC rate it as an...

Continue Reading

The Gillespie Pass Circuit

The Gillespie Pass Circuit

If you're looking for a fantastic multi day tramp with beautiful dense forest, mountains galore, wide valleys, rivers and a beautiful lake, then the 58Km Gillespie Pass Circuit in Mount Aspiring National Park might be for you. It begins close to Makarora, a small settlement an hours' drive to the North of Wanaka.

The Gillespie Pass circuit is a loop track. You can start just South of Makarora up the Wilkin river, or from a few Kms North of Makarora up...

Continue Reading

Around the Mountain Taranaki – 3 days

Stony River Taranaki

Around the Mountain Taranaki

Mount Taranaki (Mount Egmont) is a beautiful dormant cone volcano found on the Western tip of New Zealand's North island. It is apparently one of the most perfectly symmetrical cone volcanoes in the world and the summit reaches 2,518m (8,261ft) in elevation. What I didn't know until recently, was that it was used in the movie 'The Last Samurai' because of its resemblance to Mount Fuji.

There was still a fair bit of snow on the summit, so this time,...

Continue Reading

Te Araroa Trail Day 112. Merriview hut 2904.1kms – Martin’s hut 2932.8kms

Te Araroa Trail Day 112 - Longwood Forest

Laura and I got up at around 6am. I had hot oats for breakfast as it was raining again outside, and I wanted to be warmed up for today's trail. I had left my wet clothes on the line outside under the verandah to 'dry' overnight, and by morning I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were only damp and not soaking. Even so, I left it until the last possible minute to get changed out of my lovely warm nightwear into cold damp daywear. Within a couple of minutes I was warm again, as the...

Continue Reading

Te Araroa Trail Day 64. Nichols hut 1599.8kms – Waitewaewae hut 1607.8kms

Te Araroa Trail Nichols hut to Mount Crawford

Te Araroa Trail Nichols hut to Waitewaiwai hut

My night in the tent outside Nichols hut in the beautiful Tararua rangess started off freezing, then I had to unpeel all the layers during the night. A perfectly still night gave way to another beautiful morning.

Mount Crawford

I got up at 5am. I opted for a nature pee this morning, as the actual toilet was completely covered in a blanket of huge black blowflies.

I left at 6am to climb the ridge to Mt Crawford 1462m...

Continue Reading

Te Araroa Trail Day 63. Te Matawai hut 1587.6 kms – Nichols hut 1599.8kms

Te Araroa Trail Day 63 - Te Matawai to Nichols hut

Te Araroa Trail Tararua Ranges

Te Matawai to Dracophyllum hut

Most people in Te Matawai hut woke at around 5am and I got on trail by 6am. Today started with a huge climb, up to the Pukematawai ridge which was 1400m or so.

The walk was above the tree line and the terrain was initially grassy tussock interspersed with rocky/muddy parts. The dew on the tall grass soaked my shoes and shorts. Soon the terrain charged to become more rock and alpine. This meant some pretty...

Continue Reading