Hawkdun Range ascent (point 1857m), Maniototo, Central Otago NZ

An excellent walk through tussock grass to the barren summit plateau of the Hawkdun Range (point 1857m), in the remote Maniototo region of Central Otago.

An excellent walk to the top of the Hawkdun Range (1857m) in the remote Maniototo region of Central Otago, famous for its isolated vistas of golden tussock grass and mountains. The walk starts in the Manuherikia Valley, and after a flat start rises steeply up to the long and barren summit plateau of the Hawkdun Range: about 1100m of ascent and descent. Not as dramatic as the Southern Alps, but very atmospheric, and we had the place to ourselves.  Continue reading “Hawkdun Range ascent (point 1857m), Maniototo, Central Otago NZ”

Leaning Rock via Lilico Spur, Central Otago NZ

This long walk climbs through farmland to the Waikerikeri Conservation Area, and then through rugged tussock grass country to the barren summit of Leaning Rock (1647m), where there are many large tors.

A fairly long walk to the summit of Leaning Rock (1647m), the latter half of which is off track in the Waikerikeri Conservation Area. Starting in farmland, the walk ascends up Lilico Spur to the edge of the conservation area. From there the scenery is predominantly tussock grass, rocky areas, and finally the barren summit moonscape replete with multiple tors of various shapes and sizes. The overall feeling is one of remoteness, (although there are major  communications installations on the summit). Continue reading “Leaning Rock via Lilico Spur, Central Otago NZ”

Cairnmuir Hill Track, Central Otago NZ

This walk starts in New Zealand’s driest area, and climbs onto Cairnmuir Hill at 1114m of elevation. There are extensive views of the moody Dunstan Mountains, and over the flatlands further south.

This walk is one half of a complete traverse of Cairnmuir Hill (1114m) in Central Otago, which would take you from near Bannockburn over to Clyde. It starts in New Zealand’s driest and most arid area, with just introduced thyme eking out an existence. As you steadily climb the country becomes more hospitable, with familiar tussock grass dominating the scenery, along with a few rocky outcrops. There are good views over the moody Dunstan Mountains, with their large tors and wrinkled dark slopes, and also glimpses of the aqua coloured Lake Dunstan in the valley below. Continue reading “Cairnmuir Hill Track, Central Otago NZ”

Wombat Hill Lookout Track, Morton National Park NSW

This route follows a long fire trail to extensive views over a river valley at Wombat Hill Lookout in Morton National Park.

When I posted this walk in my personal Facebook account I didn’t mention the track name, so I’m not entirely sure where it was. Nevertheless, I’ve found pictures online of the same view as we saw, and that was labelled as Wombat Hill Lookout, so I think this is the same walk. It’s near the picturesque town of Berrima in the Southern Highlands, because we stopped there on the way back to Sydney. The walk was a bit monotonous as it followed a fire trail for most of the way, but the views were nice at the turnaround point. Continue reading “Wombat Hill Lookout Track, Morton National Park NSW”

Gerringong Falls Circuit, Budderoo National Park, NSW

Take in views of the impressive Gerringong Falls on this walk in Budderoo National Park.

This partial circuit in Budderoo National Park takes you to the top of the impressive Gerringong Falls, with views of the falls just a side trip off the main track. The falls are apparently 150-180m high. There’s heath vegetation and a section of tall forest along the way. I’d say you’re unlikely to meet many (or possibly any) other walkers; we didn’t at least.  Continue reading “Gerringong Falls Circuit, Budderoo National Park, NSW”

Rennix Walking Track, Kosciuszko National Park NSW

A pleasant walk near Jindabyne in Kosciuszko National Park. It passes through sub-alpine woodland and heath/grassland at around 1650m of elevation.

The Rennix Walking Track in Kosciuszko National Park near Jindabyne is at a lower elevation than some of the more famous walks, but offers a bit of variety if you’ve had your fill of alpine scenery. It is a 13km return walk on mostly flat terrain at roughly 1650m of elevation, and passes through subalpine woodland, heath and grasslands. There are views back up towards Australia’s highest ground from a few vantage points. Continue reading “Rennix Walking Track, Kosciuszko National Park NSW”

Kangaroo Ridge Trail, Barren Grounds Nature Reserve NSW

A long but flat walk in Barren Grounds Nature Reserve through heath and forest, with good views over the NSW South Coast from a couple of vantage points.

Barren Grounds Nature Reserve is situated at the southern end of the Illawarra Escarpment, inland from Kiama. There’s a few easy to moderate walking options that we’d done in the past (based on the Griffiths Track loop), but the route depicted here is a longish (19km) walk along the Kangaroo Ridge Trail, which continues to the edge of the escarpment for views over the NSW South Coast. The area is notable for its bird life, and contains a combination of heath and forest vegetation. Continue reading “Kangaroo Ridge Trail, Barren Grounds Nature Reserve NSW”

Mt Pisa via Tinwald Burn Ridge Track, Central Otago NZ

A long hard walk up 1600m of elevation to reach the barren plateau on top of the Pisa Range, finishing at the summit of Mt Pisa (1963m).

The ascent of Mt Pisa is a pretty gruelling slog up 1600m of elevation over 12.5 km, but the otherworldly moonscape on top is impressive and worth the effort. Most of the climb is through farmland on a vehicle track, and when we did it there was a lot of animal dung around, so it wasn’t the most pleasant experience. Once out of the farmland and into the Pisa Conservation Area the terrain changes to a barren and rocky moonscape, and when on the plateau there’s a further 2km of mostly flat walking to rocks on the summit at 1963m of elevation. Continue reading “Mt Pisa via Tinwald Burn Ridge Track, Central Otago NZ”

Duffers Saddle to the Old Woman Range, Central Otago NZ

Easy access to an arid alpine plateau on the Old Woman Range in Central Otago, with many tors & views of nearby mountains.

I realised the other day that I hadn’t posted all of my NZ walks to date. This is the walk I missed: A longish but mostly flat walk to the tops of the Old Woman Range, an arid alpine plateau near Cromwell in Central Otago. There were many tors along the way, and views of nearby mountains. Continue reading “Duffers Saddle to the Old Woman Range, Central Otago NZ”

Ephemeral lake walk, Broken Hill area, NSW

A walk along the foreshore of a shallow but expansive ephemeral lake somewhere in far western NSW, possibly a day trip from Broken Hill.

On a 2009 road trip to Broken Hill we did a walk along the shore of a large, natural, ephemeral lake, and saw scenes typical of the Australian outback. There was lots of wildlife (both native and feral), flat arid land, and the shallow but expansive lake. Continue reading “Ephemeral lake walk, Broken Hill area, NSW”