Gordons Pyramid

Gordons Pyramid is located in the Kahurangi National Park, near Mt Arthur. It can be climbed as a long day trip or as part of a circuit where you stay in one of the nearby huts. From the top there are excellent views of the surrounding countryside. Some of the tracks in the area connecting Gordons Pyramid are not well marked, so it should not be attempted in poor weather.

List Status Official
Elevation 1,489 m (4,885 ft)
Location/List South Island, New Zealand
Region Nelson/Marlborough
Location Coordinates 41° 11′ 29″ S, 172° 40′ 47″ E
Nearest Town/s Motueka, Nelson
Range Arthur Range
Geology Sedimentary
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 9 hours (return)
Distance 20.0 km (12.4 mi)
Start/End Points Flora Carpark
Difficulty Help.gif Hard
Track conditions Help.gif Track, Marked Route, Steep embankments
Season Help.gif Nov-April
Sights Views of Mt Arthur and Tablelands
Hazards Alpine weather, Snow, Ice

Getting There

By Car

From the main road through Motueka, turn toward Murchison (marked by a green sign). Follow the road through Motueka and through the countryside. You will come to a sign to Mt Arthur Track. Follow the sign and turn right accross the Alexander Bluff Bridge, and then left on to Motueka West Bank Road, which has a Mt Arthur Track Sign (22 km). After 11 km you reach an intersection. The sign points straight on, so continue following the sign. The road changes to a gravel road. Follow Graham Valley South Branch Road. For the last 6 km the road is corrugated, rough and very steep in places. A 4WD vehicle is recommended (although when we arrived at the top, there was a vast assortment vehicle types – whether they got safely down again is another question!).

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

Our recommended route describes a single long day walk to the summit of Gordons Pyramid.

The track to the summit of Gordons Pyramid begins from the Flora Saddle carpark, where there is a shelter and a toilet. The Flora Shelter contains a number of interesting informational panels, and was opened by Prime Minister Jim Bolger in 1996. The track starts from behind the shelter and heads up the wide path past the gate. For the first hour and a half or so, conditions underfoot are good, with the path continuing up on to an atmospheric ridge covered in beech forest, and then up to the Mt Arthur Hut, which is situated on the bushline.

You can of course overnight in the hut if you want to break the journey, but Gordons Pyramid can be bagged in a return day tramp.

Follow the signpost to Mt Arthur Trig and leave the Mt Arthur Hut clearing. Almost immediately afterwards, you need to head up to the left on to the top of the ridge that leads towards Mt Arthur. The signposts here only point to Flora Hut and back to Mt Arthur Hut, neither of which you want to go to, so follow the poles up the ridge instead. For the next couple of hours, continue to follow the poles and cairns along the ridge, and you will eventually come to a signposted intersection. The signpost here indicates the way down across Horseshoe Basin and over to Gordon’s Pyramid.

Follow the route which drops into Horseshoe Basin, then up on to the ridge that leads to the top of Gordons Pyramid (1489 m). At the top there are great views of the surrounding Mt Arthur Range and Tablelands. It should take approximately 3 hours to walk from Mt Arthur Hut to the top of Gordons Pyramid.

Return the way you came via Mt Arthur Hut and back to Flora Carpark. The entire return day trip should take around 9 hours.

Height Profile

Gordons Pyramid-2d.jpg

Weather and Webcam Links

External Links

References

Daywalks-cover.jpg Day Walks in New Zealand: 100 Great Tracks (Bird’s Eye Guides), Shaun Barnett, Craig Potton Publishing (2007), See pages 107-107