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.

We...

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

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...

Continue Reading

SWCP Day 37. Peak Hill, Sidmouth to Stonebarrow Hill, Charmouth

Today's distance walked - approx 38 kms (23.6 miles).
Ascent - approx 1661m (5449 ft).

I woke at 5.30am and spent a while getting myself together and finishing my blog for the past couple of days. As I was finishing up, a few big fat spots of rain fell on the tent. I got the tent packed away quickly, because I didn't want to carry it wet, but in my haste I damaged a tent pole a little bit which I mended with the duct tape I keep wrapped around my hiking poles. The rain turned out to be...

Continue Reading