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...

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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...

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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...

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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.

We...

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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...

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South West Coast Path Itinerary

South West Coast Path Map

I thru hiked the UK South West Coast Path during June and July 2018. As it turns out I timed my hike to coincide perfectly with the UK's hottest summer on record.  The trail took 43 days in total, with a few short days and only 2 full rest days. In all this time I only had a couple of days of rain.

The South West Coast Path is obviously a completely different beast to New Zealand's Te Araroa trail. It is roughly 1000Kms - a third of the distance of Te Araroa trail but with half of the...

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