You have to make the most of the 'good weather weekends' during a New Zealand Winter. Even though the days are short, we are spoilt for mountain tramping adventures near Nelson. We made the trip up to the Buckland Peaks, at the Northern tip of the Paparoa Range (behind Westport) over the 'shortest day' weekend. We camped on the tops and spent a few hours on the second day exploring the peaks; a grassy undulating wonderland of rockfalls, giant boulders, and tarns. It...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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.