The Mt Haast Route in Victoria Forest Park near Reefton promised to be a short but steep walk to good views from the summit of Mt Haast (1578m). But the views were better than I had anticipated, so much so that I would rate these views high up in my NZ walks to date. The scale of the surrounding glacial topography is not as big as some areas in New Zealand, but it’s very attractive scenery. There’s a real feeling of space up there, with countless peaks, ridges and glacial valleys in all directions. And the lush West Coast forests on lower slopes contrast nicely with the light coloured tussock grass and shrubs on the summits and high ridges. I barely notice the effort I’m expending when I’m enjoying a walk, and so it was on our way steeply down from the summit, despite tired knees from weeks of regular walking over the summer. Highly recommended.
Track notes are at the end.
As much as I enjoyed this walk, especially the views, it’s a pretty simple up and down route. A nearby alternative offering more variety is the circuit we did the day before on the Klondyke Routes. Worth doing both if you have the time.
Mt Haast Route: The Scenery
A straight up and down walk with a track, then poled route and finally a little off track walking to the summit. There was a very short and easy scramble right at the top, at least where we ascended. The route is quite short, but gets steeper as you climb higher – not a hard walk though for those with reasonable fitness.
The tracks starts near the Inangahua Bridge on the highway between Springs Junction and Reefton. You can see the sign in the Google Street View below. More info on tracks in the area on the DOC website.