Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ

The route to the summit of Mt Rosa (1324m) starts in thorny weeds, but soon moves into tussock grass and before long there are views over the Gibbston Valley wine region, the Horn and Carrick Ranges, and eventually over to the Remarkables Conservation Area. Good for cooler weather because there’s no shade for the whole length of the walk.

Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ

The walk up Mt Rosa (1324m) from Victoria Flats was another lesser known walk to exceed expectations. It is so unknown that we didn’t come across a single other walker on two occasions. The wide track at first passes through thorny bushes, but before long these are left behind as it enters quintessential Central Otago high country; basically tussock grass. Eventually there are views of the Gibbston Valley wine region, and surrounding mountain ranges such as the Horn Range, Carrick Range, and the Remarkables Conservation Area.

My pictures from the first ascent in 2016 were taken in very picturesque weather conditions, with a few cloud inversions below and blue skies above, plus some winter snow on the high peaks. Our second ascent didn’t provide these sorts of views, but I’ve included a few shots anyway. A good walk for cool conditions as there’s no shade for the whole length of the track.

Track Notes

The DOC notes describe a walk between Coal Pit Saddle and Victoria Flats, however we have done this as a 1000m ascent of Mt Rosa (1324m) from Victoria Flats, specifically the small car park near Victoria Bridge, and then back down again. At the hard end of moderate. Pretty straightforward walk, but have a quick look a map before you go just to get your bearings.

The Scenery

25th June 2016

Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ
A misty start. This taken early on in the ascent.
Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ
It was frosty in parts on the way up.
Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ
We approached Antimony Saddle and disturbed some sheep.
Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ
The view from Antimony Saddle of the Gibbston Valley and back towards Arrowtown.

Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ

Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ
Approaching the top and looking back towards the south-east.
Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ
Sophia looking over the Gibbston Valley wine region, 1000m below. Somehow we don’t look that high up in this photo.
Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ
A panorama of the Remarkables Conservation Area.
Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ
Another view from the summit.
Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ
Sophia starts to rug up. It wasn’t all that cold but once we’ve stopped moving (for lunch) it gets a bit chilly, plus there’s usually a wind on top even on a calm day. The back of the Remarkables in the distance.
Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ
Sophia leaving the summit. Low cloud in the distance.
Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ
Sophia descending bottom right. The Horn and Carrick Ranges below.
Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ
A cloud waterfall. (I zoomed a lot so this pic is a bit fuzzy).
Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ
It was nice walking through tussock grass for much of this walk. This is quintessential NZ high country.
Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ
Looking back towards Mt Rosa from Mt Mason.
Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ
The Kawarau River can be seen roughly centre right. It winds its way through the mountains and out towards Cromwell.

Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ

Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ
Thorny bushes on the lower slopes. Not sure if these ones are native or not.
Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ
This thorny bush covered in red berries was all over the lower slopes. It’s an introduced weed called sweet briar rosehips.
Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ
Those rose hips gave the lower slopes a reddish hue. On the whole this part of the walk was not that attractive, and there were rabbits everywhere.

May 16th 2017

Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ
On the way up.
Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ
Sophia at the summit.
Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ
Lunch at the summit. Was calm but cold.
Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ
Gibbston Valley wine region.
Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ
Hazy views.
Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ
On the way back down.

 

Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ
I didn’t notice Sophia marching at the time.
Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ
Some late flowers.
Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ
Oh deer.

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

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