This is a pleasant walk along a section of the Te Araroa up to Turtons Saddle, where there are views back towards the Rakaia River. If you have extra energy you can climb Donald Hill (1525m) for extended views over towards Lake Coleridge, and the confluence of the Rakaia and Wilberforce Rivers to the north. The scenery is best once you climb up onto the saddle, with many domed peaks lining a wide open valley. You can continue along the Te Araroa to a couple of huts if you wanted to make this an overnight trip.
Track notes at the end. A nearby walk that I liked more is to the summit of Rat Hill via Redcliffe Stream, although with the track washed out in places this walk is harder and requires some route finding ability.
Donald Hill via Turtons Saddle: The Scenery
A few photos from another occasion when I went on to climb Black Hill. Much better lighting and conditions in mid winter.
Back to summer…
One more from winter…
On a marked track to Turtons Saddle, then you have to choose a point to leave the track and head up Donald Hill. On the lower slopes there is a section of sometimes head high tussock grass to wade through, and that’s easier to minimise on the way down as you can see where this section is thinnest. The summit area is flat and so its worth walking to both ends of this to get views in different directions, particularly out over the Rakaia and Wilberforce Valleys to the north.