The Inland Pack Track

The cliffs on Dilemma Creek Gorge

The Inland Pack Track

The Inland Pack Track is a great overnighter taking you into the Paparoa National Park. If you have a fine weekend on the West Coast, it's definitely not to be missed.

The track was built in 1867 during the gold rush to avoid travel along the dangerous coastline. Beginning on the coast at Fox River in the North, it winds approximately 25Kms through rivers, gorges, forests and plains, re-joining the coast at the Pororari River to the South. Long sections are...

Continue Reading

Lockett Range and Mt Cobb Tops

Traversing some of the rocky outcrops along the ridge of the Lockett Range

The Lockett Range and Mt Cobb Tops

We made the most of great weather over the New Year, and headed into the Cobb to traverse the Lockett Range and Mt Cobb tops of the Peel Range. As usual, the Kahurangi National Park didn't disappoint, and we enjoyed a superb few days exploring the glaciated lansdscape. It was one of those trips that makes you realise how many other many other possibilities there are up there, and makes you want to go back again and again.

We began with a...

Continue Reading

Mount Owen – Day 1

The tarns on the saddle beneath Mount Owen

Mount Owen via Granity Pass Hut

The spectacular rocky mass of Mount Owen is the highest point in the Kahurangi National Park, standing at 1875m. It looms over a beautiful glaciated limestone karst landscape, famous for it's incredible rock formations and huge underground cave networks. There are several ways to walk to Mount Owen, and I took the easiest and most popular track from the Courthouse Flat DoC campsite. DoC reccommend 6 hours to walk the 8.3Kms to Granity Pass hut, and I...

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

Waipakihi River – Kaimanawa Forest Park

Waipakihi Valley

Waipakihi River - Kaimanawa Forest Park

Today's hike was one of those where we left a lot to chance.

The aim was to head to the Waipakihi hut from Mount Urchin, but were being all spontaneous about it. To be honest we hadn't read up on it much and the weather wasn't being particularly kind to us either. At some point in the past, I had downloaded a gpx file of the routes to Waipakihi hut onto my Backcountry Navigator (topo map app) on my phone, so this acted as our guide.


Continue Reading

When you gotta go…

Toilet kit

Backcountry Bathroom Etiquette

If you're new to hiking or tramping and wonder how you'll get on with going to the toilet / using the bathroom on a long-distance trail or when you're out in the backcountry (as some of readers have asked me) then read on!

You may have noticed from my previous posts, that toilets (location, free or pay, opening hours, cleanliness) are a major conversation topic for me. Whilst hiking I have experienced many emergencies when I have found myself...

Continue Reading