Mt Grey / Maukatere Circuit, North Canterbury NZ

A circuit walk through native forest visiting the grassy summit of Mt Grey / Maukatere (933m) for extensive views, especially north east.

Mt Grey / Maukatere Circuit, North Canterbury

The circuit walk up Mt Grey / Maukatere (933m) is mostly a pleasant forest walk, but the views from the grassy summit are extensive. The views north-east up the coast are the best, with rolling hills between Mt Grey and distant tall mountains. We had interesting light and clouds when we did it, but I’d like to return on a clear day to get a proper look at those mountains. If you want to get good pictures of those peaks to the north then you’ll need a zoom lens.

I’m not sure how long it will last, but a very interesting feature of the walk was a tree on the Red Beech Track that was covered in fungi on the lower part of its trunk. You can see that photo with the others below. Track notes at the end.

Mt Grey / Maukatere Circuit: The Scenery

Mt Grey / Maukatere Circuit, North Canterbury
Most of the walk was through a mix of native forest.

Mt Grey / Maukatere Circuit, North Canterbury

Mt Grey / Maukatere Circuit, North Canterbury
Above the treeline.
Mt Grey / Maukatere Circuit, North Canterbury
Looking inland.
Mt Grey / Maukatere Circuit, North Canterbury
The Banks Peninsula.
Mt Grey / Maukatere Circuit, North Canterbury
You can see the coast from Mt Grey.
Mt Grey / Maukatere Circuit, North Canterbury
Moody light to the north-east.
Mt Grey / Maukatere Circuit, North Canterbury
Moody light to the north-east.
Mt Grey / Maukatere Circuit, North Canterbury
The view roughly east over farmland.
Mt Grey / Maukatere Circuit, North Canterbury
A panorama north-east.
Mt Grey / Maukatere Circuit, North Canterbury
Another panorama north-east.
Mt Grey / Maukatere Circuit, North Canterbury
North-ish
Mt Grey / Maukatere Circuit, North Canterbury
More moody light to the north-east.
Mt Grey / Maukatere Circuit, North Canterbury
Dropping back down into beech forest on the Red Beech Track.

Mt Grey / Maukatere Circuit, North Canterbury

Mt Grey / Maukatere Circuit, North Canterbury
Something I’d never seen before – a fungi covered tree.
Mt Grey / Maukatere Circuit, North Canterbury
A close up of that fungi covered tree.
Mt Grey / Maukatere Circuit, North Canterbury
The Grey River
Mt Grey / Maukatere Circuit, North Canterbury
These are thistles I think.
Mt Grey / Maukatere Circuit, North Canterbury
Historic Possumers Hut.
Mt Grey / Maukatere Circuit, North Canterbury
There were a few clearings in the forest, usually nearby patches of pines. There were other native plants in these areas such as these giant harakeke (New Zealand flax) and also cabbage trees.
Mt Grey / Maukatere Circuit, North Canterbury
The Grey River passed through a gorge at this point.
Mt Grey / Maukatere Circuit, North Canterbury
More fungi.

Track Notes

Mt Grey / Maukatere Circuit, North Canterbury
On a marked track the whole way, starting at the Grey River Campsite. We walked it anti-clockwise. See my blog notes about crossing the Grey River on the Red Beech Track.

The route is a marked track the whole way (poled on the tops). We walked up the Mt Grey Track and down the longer Red Beech Track. These tracks start on opposite sides of the Grey River at Grey River Campsite.

You have to ford the Grey River on the Red Beech Track, which can be dangerous apparently when water levels are high. This is the case when there is water overflowing the vehicle ford at the start of the tracks. This certainly wasn’t an issue when we did it.

If you are moderately fit it’ll probably take 5 hours for the circuit. You could always go up and down the Grey River Track which would be shorter (maybe 4 hours). More info on the DOC website. (Note that you drive in to the walk from the east (Amberley), not the south).

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

2 thoughts on “Mt Grey / Maukatere Circuit, North Canterbury NZ”

  1. Great walk & pictures once again, that fungi covered tree is amazing. I like the variety of scenery on this walk, definitely put it on my list of walks to do.

    1. Cheers Tony. It’s a good one being close to Christchurch, and not too strenuous. Not exactly wilderness but still felt a bit wild despite the pine plantations and farmland nearby.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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