An easy walk along the Te Araroa Trail to Lake Emily, one of the Ashburton Lakes, then a short excursion off track to the summit of Emily Hill for good views.
A few kilometres easy walking along the Te Araroa Trail in Hakatere Conservation Park gives access to Lake Emily and neighbouring Emily Hill (963m). For views of the wide open spaces and lumpy topography of the Ashburton Lakes area, as well as the distant Arrowsmith Range, climb a couple of hundred vertical metres off track to the summit of the hill. Continue reading “Emily Hill & Lake Emily, Hakatere Conservation Park, Canterbury NZ”
A simple off-track walk up to the summit of Mt Scott (1363m) from the Crown Range Road, for views of the Pisa Conservation Area.
The off-track route up Mt Scott (1363m) from the highest point on the Crown Range Road is a quick way to get views over the Pisa Conservation Area and down into the Wakatipu Basin. It can also be extended all the way to Crown Peak, which would in fact be the quickest way to get up this mountain. (We’ve climbed it from Arrowtown and also from further down the Crown Range Road). Continue reading “Mt Scott from Crown Saddle, Pisa Conservation Area, Otago NZ”
The short Nikau Palm Walk starts on the Heaphy Track next to the Kōhaihai River, and passes through lush rainforest & groves of nikau palms.
If you want a very short walk at the West Coast end of the Heaphy Track then consider this short loop through native forest – the Nikau Palm Walk. The forest is very attractive, and as the name suggests, there are many nikau palms, New Zealand’s only native palm. You cross the Kōhaihai River at the start and views up and down this are also very nice.
A very attractive coastal section of the multi-day Heaphy Track, taking in many highlights of West Coast scenery in just half a day.
I was keen to see some quintessential West Coast scenery when we visited the Coast’s northernmost town of Karamea for the first time. A four kilometre section of the multiday Heaphy Track offers just that: a selection of nikau palm lined beaches, lush rainforest and river scenery. The brochures suggest the hour long walk to Scotts Beach as a short day-walk, but continuing on to Big Rock Beach and Swanburn Bridge provides better scenery for not much more effort. I was especially impressed with the nikau palms besides Big Rock Beach, and dense bush lining the Swan Burn (River). Continue reading “Heaphy Track to Big Rock Beach & Swan Burn, Kahurangi National Park, West Coast NZ”
A pleasant section of the Crater Rim Track in the Port Hills from Sign of the Bellbird to Coopers Knob (573m) with views much of the way.
I thought about doing this pleasant section of the Crater Rim Track in the Port Hills above Christchurch when we visited nearby Gibraltar Rock. Coopers Knob (573m) is the highest point in the Port Hills and provides excellent views over Lyttelton Harbour to the north-east. Starting at historic Sign of the Bellbird, there are patches of native bush along the way, as well as other worthy viewpoints.
A pleasant circuit walk in Omahu Bush, stopping at Gibraltar Rock for 360 degree views over the Port Hills and Canterbury Plains.
The short walk from Summit Road to the top of Gibraltar Rock (502m) is a good leg stretcher if you are in that part of the Port Hills. For a leisurely 2-2.5 hour walk, continue on into Omahu Bush and do a circuit, dropping down into the valley to visit a small waterfall, then climb back out to the start. Depending on the route you take you will walk through sections of native bush, and in areas of regenerating bush with gorse. There are good views from a few points, including of course the summit of Gibraltar Rock. Continue reading “Gibraltar Rock and Omahu Bush, Port Hills, Christchurch NZ”
A very pleasant and easy walk at Arrowtown up the Bush Creek Track through a gorge as far as a saddle, where there are views over the Wakatipu Basin.
I’d done part of the Bush Creek Track a few months earlier on a loop taking in Brow Peak, and quite liked that section. So on a clear Autumn day we returned to do the whole thing, and I was pleasantly surprised. The walk offers a wide variety of native and non-native vegetation along the pleasant Bush Creek, which eventually passes through a gorge on its way to a saddle, where there are good views over the Wakatipu Basin. I liked the open aspect of the upper sections, and the rugged cliffs lining the gorge. There are also nice stands of beech forest and some autumn colours early on in the walk courtesy of introduced trees. Continue reading “Bush Creek Track, Arrowtown NZ”
A fairly easygoing walk on the Ryton Track though impressive Canterbury High Country mountain scenery, visiting Lakes Ida & Catherine.
The Ryton Track takes you through impressive mountain scenery to Lake Ida, and then Lake Catherine. Both are nice enough – Lake Ida is in the nicer setting – but neither particularly photogenic. There are also Lakes Selfe and Evelyn at the start which are nice. For me though the highlight was the lumpy topography including scree covered mountains in the Craigieburn Range. It’s a fairly flat walk and not too long, so for relatively little effort you can get a good sample of the Canterbury High Country. Continue reading “Ryton Track to Lakes Ida & Catherine, Canterbury NZ”