Easies and Mediums on a Mystery trip to Kahurangi NP

On the way to John Reid Hut

I love a mystery and was intrigued when this tramp appeared on the schedule: Top of the South Mystery Tramp. Jump on the ferry and go on an adventure! Interesting rock formations, travel on the tops and along a river. Good snacks and optional river swims. Expect up to 6 hours walk every day. Track … Read more

Easter Weekend at Wangapeka and Tops

Day 3 - Mt Patriarch (Photo credit: Monique)

Thursday (3h20)After the customary ferry delays and many dolphins, we drove to Rolling junction via a kebab shop in Richmond, arriving at the road end at 8.30pm after crossing the Dart Ford without issues. With head torches, we walked at a good pace along the great wall grade track for a few hours. Arriving at Kings … Read more

Peel and Lockett Traverse

I cannot emphasise how nice this tarn was (just up from Fenella Hut)

As is tradition when heading to the South Island, our trip began with a delayed ferry. Unfortunately this meant that our original plan of completing the Dragon’s Teeth crossing was rendered infeasible, so we took the time before our rescheduled crossing to brainstorm an alternative. Wanting to stay within the Kahurangi National Park, we formed … Read more

Tablelands – Cobb Valley (combined EM and M trip – Kahurangi National Park)

Thursday 1 April: Our Easter weekend’s tramping began with a late ferry crossing to Picton, where we stayed in a bunkroom at Sequoia Lodge Backpackers. Friday 2 April: Next morning we drove to Kahurangi National Park, with stops at Pelorus Bridge and Motueka. We arrived at Cobb Reservoir roadend in the early afternoon and set … Read more

1000 Acre Plateau

Ferry booking mix-ups and more than an hour’s delay to board meant it was well after 10pm when we arrived at the Matiri Valley West Bank road end. The hydro scheme construction works mean the walk in to Lake Matiri hut is now only 50min mostly on construction road, which during working hours you need … Read more

1000 Acre Plateau

On Friday night our party of 11 stayed at Owen River Tavern campsite. The next morning, we drove 30 minutes over an unsealed road to the trailhead at 442828 and started our tramp at 8:40 after the obligatory group picture. There hadn’t been any rain for days, so the river crossing in the first bit was quite … Read more

Lake Peel and Balloon Hut

After leaving the ferry at Picton on Friday evening, we drove to Rai Valley hoping to camp in one of two spots for free camping. Alas, by 10 pm both sites were chokka with vehicles. Available spaces were small and sloping, and puddles plentiful. So we backtracked to the DOC campsite at Pelorus Bridge where … Read more

A Karst Limestone Wonderland at Mount Owen

Trip route details: Sat: Courthouse Flat via Blue Creek track to our campsite just above Sanctuary Basin. Approx 5-6hrs. Lots of layers and good down sleeping bags required – it’s cold! Sun: Campsite to Mt Owen. Approx 2hrs. Mt Owen to Granity Pass Hut. Approx 2-3hrs. Follow the cairned track to avoid crevasses and slippery … Read more

Mt Arthur, Tablelands and Rock Shelters in the Kahurangi NP

The serious bit for those wanting useful details: We took the 6:30pm ferry to Picton, and drove 1hr 30mins to camp overnight at Kowhai Point beside the Wairau River ($6pp). Saturday morning we drove 2hrs to Flora Saddle road end. There is a phantom bridge across the Motueka River marked on the road atlas. Make … Read more