Corner Peak Route, Lake Hawea NZ

A long and spectacular walk up rugged Corner Peak (1683m) with views of Lake Hawea, the Hunter River, and over numerous mountain ranges.

Corner Peak Route, Lake Hawea

Corner Peak (1683m) cuts a striking figure from the western shore of Lake Hawea, especially as you drive from the West Coast across The Neck, alongside Isthmus Peak. Multiple spurs rise 1300m very steeply out of the lake, but the way up is along a long ridge from the south. It feels quite adventurous, and is a hard slog, but the scenery is spectacular pretty much from start to end, so it’s well worth the effort. One of the best walks in this area, along with Sentinel Peak and Breast Hill.

The route is sometimes hard to follow, and is unmarked for the final 1.5-2km, and might require a bit of scrambling in places if you lose the route. So one for more experienced trampers. Track notes at the end.

Corner Peak Route: The Scenery

Corner Peak Route, Lake Hawea
Timaru Creek in the morning.
Corner Peak Route, Lake Hawea
Looking back down on our route up. Breast Hill top left.
Corner Peak Route, Lake Hawea
First look at Corner Peak, top right. Up on the ridge here. 
Corner Peak Route, Lake Hawea
Corner Peak Panorama. The summit is top right at the back.

Corner Peak Route, Lake Hawea

Corner Peak Route, Lake Hawea
Looking south.
Corner Peak Route, Lake Hawea
Corner Peak, our target for the day, on the left, and Dingle Peak (1835m), to the right.
Corner Peak Route, Lake Hawea
The summit on the right.
Corner Peak Route, Lake Hawea
We got a bit lost and ended up having to descend this. Sophia is about half way down, although hard to see.
Corner Peak Route, Lake Hawea
Deer Spur Creek down there.
Corner Peak Route, Lake Hawea
The final off track route to the summit. You can see the impact track that guides you for some of the way, although we lost it for a while in amongst rocks and grass.
Corner Peak Route, Lake Hawea
Final push to the summit. These rocks were impressive.
Corner Peak Route, Lake Hawea
A gully leading down from near the summit.
Corner Peak Route, Lake Hawea
View up the Hunter River from the summit of Corner Peak (1683m).
Corner Peak Route, Lake Hawea
Panorama of the northern end of Lake Hawea and the Hunter River.
Corner Peak Route, Lake Hawea
The view south-west over Lake Hawea, with Isthmus Peak on the right before The Neck.
Corner Peak Route, Lake Hawea
The lighting was just starting to soften by this stage.

Corner Peak Route, Lake Hawea

Corner Peak Route, Lake Hawea
Last look at Corner Peak before we descended off the ridge.
Corner Peak Route, Lake Hawea
Wildflowers out.
Corner Peak Route, Lake Hawea
On our steep descent back to the Timaru High River Track.
Corner Peak Route, Lake Hawea
A last look at rugged scenery before we finished out descent.

Track Notes

Corner Peak Route, Lake Hawea
A sometimes difficult marked route to the Hawea Conservation Park boundary, then off track to the summit. The track starts just a little up the road from Timaru Creek car park.

The route is sometimes hard to follow, and you have to cross fences without a stile at least a couple of time to stay on the marked route. We got a bit lost and ended up having a steep scramble on loose material for a while. If you don’t get lost then it is fairly straightforward until you get to the Hawea Conservation Park. From there you can follow an impact track to the east of the ridge (not on the ridge), but this will become indistinct so you have to follow a few cairns and your intuition to navigate this section. Not too hard but will be a bit slow. The final climb to the summit is straightforward. The steepest climb is early on to get up onto the ridge, but the views ramp up once on the ridge so you’ll be amply rewarded.

Park your car at the Timaru Creek car park, then walk over the bridge and up the hill just a bit – the tracks starts on your right. (It looks to be marked incorrectly on the topo map, but is signposted and easy enough to see).

The walk will take about 8 hours or so, (although we met one other walker who managed to get up in 3 hours, so he was really moving!).

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.