Mt Richardson Loop, Mount Thomas Conservation Area, Canterbury NZ
A pleasant loop through beech (tawhai) forest to the top of Mt Richardson (1047m), where there are good views over the Puketeraki Range and other nearby peaks.
Mt Richardson (1047m) is one of four modestly sized mountains that can be climbed, about one hour’s drive north-west of Christchurch. The others are Mt Oxford (which we’ve done), and Mounts Thomas and Grey to the east. It’s a pleasant if not spectacular walk through mostly beech (tawhai) forest, with just a bit of tussock grass and Dracophyllum scrub on the tops. The views from the summit include the Puketeraki Range rising front and centre above the Lees Valley, Mt Oxford, and further away the the Torlesse Range.
A straightforward walk that is tracked and signposted the whole way. We walked it clockwise. Note that it was very muddy in places when we did it in winter after a period of fairly wet weather. Note also that the area has a lot of wasps in summer, and you’ll see the yellow wasp poison stations attached to trees along the tracks. More info on the DOC website.