Hawkdun Range ascent (point 1857m), Maniototo, Central Otago NZ
An excellent walk through tussock grass to the barren summit plateau of the Hawkdun Range (point 1857m), in the remote Maniototo region of Central Otago.
An excellent walk to the top of the Hawkdun Range (1857m) in the remote Maniototo region of Central Otago, famous for its isolated vistas of golden tussock grass and mountains. The walk starts in the Manuherikia Valley, and after a flat start rises steeply up to the long and barren summit plateau of the Hawkdun Range: about 1100m of ascent and descent. Not as dramatic as the Southern Alps, but very atmospheric, and we had the place to ourselves.
It was our first time in the region, which is a five hour round trip from Queenstown. The start of the walk is accessed on Home Hills Run Road, passing through a number of gates along the way.
We used track notes in Day Walks of New Zealand: Central Otago and Queenstown. The picture above shows where we parked the car (blue arrow), which was next to Shepherds Hut Creek. You can also see the faint track on the spur (red arrow), which eventually enters a rock field near the top.
We had to walk through tussock grass to meet the faint track, which was more obvious near the bottom of the spur. Climbing up the spur we passed by point 1334m and then a boulder field on way to our end point at 1857m of elevation.