I had first visited Mt Dewar on the Devils Creek Circuit some years ago, and wasn’t so impressed by the views on that day. Well, what a difference some good lighting makes! This time the views were awesome, including south over the Wakatipu Basin, and north over the Skippers Backcountry and Richardson Mountains. So I can in fact recommend either of these two walks 🙂
This route involves a section of road walking to complete a loop, but the climb back up the infamous Skippers Road has some interesting features on it, so we didn’t mind too much. Note that part of this walk as described is on private land so see my track notes for access details.
Track notes at the end.
Mt Dewar – Skippers Road Loop: The Scenery
You can park in a small car park at Skippers Saddle right at the start of the track. We didn’t realise and parked in a large chain fitting area on Coronet Peak Road, and walked a few hundred metres up Skippers Road to the start of the track. This might be a bit more secure but then might not be best during the ski season.
The walk is on vehicle tracks all the way over Mt Dewar, and back to Skippers Road near Big Bend. From there you walk up the road back to the saddle. This was a bit hot and dusty for us but it is an interesting road with a few rocky features along the way such as Castle Rock (over the road at Big Bend), The Lighthouse and Hells Gate.
The section from when you turn right off Atleys Track to pass over the saddle at 958m and continue on to Skippers Road is on private land. Please Contact Treespace at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask permission for access. This is mainly to ensure safety as they sometimes have hunters in the area. (I’ll sheepishly admit that I rushed my prep for this walk and thought this would be a DOC track. We ended up walking this section without permission, but I did my homework afterwards and it sounds like getting access is no problem. Sorry!).
Interestingly, this land is part of a privately funded project to restore beech forest to the slopes of the mountain. They’ll build a housing estate somewhere. Have a look at https://treespace.co.nz/.
This walk is at the easier end of moderate, although it will take maybe 4+ hours so not a walk in the park. See the Wakatipu Walks DOC brochure for more info on walks in the area.