A great sample of Central Otago’s unique scenery on this long and relatively unknown walk to the summit of Cloudy Peak (1526m), north-east of Cromwell.
Quintessential Central Otago scenery on this long walk to the summit of Cloudy Peak (1526m), not far from Cromwell. Once you begin the ascent onto higher ground there are great views of golden tussocked and wrinkly hills and valleys, contrasted with flat-as-a-pancake plains in the distance, and from the summit you have partial views of the attractive St Bathans Range.
On the downside, much of the walk is through pasture, and that made for some smelly walking through knee-deep sheep shit. Okay, maybe not knee deep, but there was bit more of it than was ideal, ideal being none. Very photogenic though, as I hope you’ll agree, and I decided it just sneaks in as a ‘spectacular/ recommended’ walk.
I don’t think it’s a well known walk, and we met nobody in 9 hours. Track notes at the end, and navigation was straightforward in good weather.
Cloudy Peak ascent: The Scenery
Information on the walk is available from the DOC website. At first you walk through a farm, crossing electric fences and over a few stiles. You then walk along dry creek, which is as the name suggests, and eventually rise up to a long ridgeline which continues until quite near the summit. At the final climb to the summit you finally leave pasture and enter the Neinei i kura conservation area. To visit the summit proper you have to go off track for just a short while. I think the estimates of walking time from the DOC are without the final ascent to the summit, so I would definitely allocate a full day to complete the walk.