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Maunganui, Mt

Also known as Mauao

Mauao, more commonly known as Mt Maunganui, is a 232 m volcano which guards the entrance to Tauranga Harbour. Occupying a prime location in one of New Zealand’s busiest holiday hot spots, many will be familiar with Mauao’s position overlooking the main beach. Bagging Mt Maunganui is a great introduction to peak bagging, as the paths to the summit are well maintained, and it’s a short return journey.

Maori Legend

“According to Maori legend, this hill was a pononga (slave) to a mountain called Otanewainuku. The pononga was in love with a hill called Puwhena, but she had already fallen for his captor.

In despair, the nameless hill decided to drown himself and he called upon the fairy people (Patupaiarehe) to assist with his endeavour. The fairy people began dragging him toward the sea, however, these nocturnal imps lost track of time, and as they neared the ocean, the rising sun signalled their disappearance.

The nameless one was left in the very place where he still stands, and became known as Mauao, which means “caught by the dawn.”

Source: AA 101 Must Do’s

List Status Official
Elevation 232 m (761 ft)
Location/List North Island, New Zealand
Region Bay of Plenty/East Coast
Location Coordinates 37° 37′ 49″ S, 176° 10′ 19″ E
Nearest Town/s Mt Maunganui, Tauranga
Geology Volcano
Translation Big mountain (Maunganui), caught by the dawn (Mauao)
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 1-2 hours (return)
Distance 3.8 km (2.4 mi)
Start/End Points Pilot Quay, Mt Maunganui
Difficulty Help.gif Easy
Track conditions Help.gif Path
Season Help.gif All year
Sights Views , Views of Tauranga harbour, Matakana Island

Getting There

By Car

To get to Mauao, simply aim for the Mt Maunganui town centre and continue following the main roads until you ‘hit’ the peak. The closest parking is available along Marine Parade or at the wharf area on the corner of Adams Ave and The Mall.

Public Transport

The Mount is serviced by public bus with local connections to Tauranga and Papamoa, and wider regional connections as well. See the public transport information available from Tauranga City Council. As it is a built up area, taxis are available also.

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

There are several paths up and around Mount Maunganui, which means that you can take your pick whether to go up the gentle way (gravel path) or the steep way (stairs). If you don’t feel like climbing the Mount, you can also do a circuit around the base of the mountain!

We suggest starting from near the surf club on Marine Parade and walking up the steep way via the stairs to get a good workout! On the way you get to see great views of Mt Maunganui Beach and out to sea. To the top it takes about 30-45 minutes at a gentle pace.

At the top of the Mount there is a big grassy area with a trig, a memorial, and great panoramic views of the town, Makatana Island and the surrounding coast.

To get down, try the gravel path instead for a gentler descent and a chance for different viewpoints. The full trip takes about 1-2 hours, depending on your speed and time spent relaxing at the summit. Afterwards, treat yourself to a snack at one of the local cafes located at the base of the mountain.

For another excellent description of the walk to Mt Maunganui summit, see the NZ Tramping Tracks Mt Maunganui summit page

Weather and Webcam Links

External Links

Thomas, Mt

Mt Thomas

Mt Thomas

From the Wooded Gully picnic area in Mount Thomas Forest, it it a three hour hike to the summit of Mt Thomas. At the top are panoramic views of the Canterbury Plains, Banks Peninsula and Southern Alps.

List Status Official
Elevation 1,023 m (3,356 ft)
Location/List South Island, New Zealand
Region Canterbury
Nearest Town/s Oxford, Christchurch
Geology Sedimentary
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 6 hours (return)
Distance 6.4 km (4 mi)
Start/End Points Mt Thomas Wooded Gully picnic area
Difficulty Help.gif Medium
Track conditions Help.gif Track, Marked Route
Sights Views of the Canterbury Plains, Banks Peninsula and Southern Alps
Hazards Slippery surfaces, snow in winter

Getting There

By Car

Mt Thomas Forest area is about 60 km from Christchurch. The forest can be reached by approaching from Rangiora and Loburn, or Oxford and Ashley Gorge. No public transport is available so you will need to go there by car. Near the forest itself (from Birch Hill Road), turn down Hayland Road, where a DOC sign points to the Mt Thomas conservation area. After a short drive you will get into the conservation area – follow the signs down the gravel road to the walking area (also a picnicking and camping area.

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

There are a number of tracks in Mt Thomas Forest that can be walked. The most direct route to the summit is via the Summit Track. The summit track goes up a steep ridge to the summit of Mt Thomas, and takes approximately 3 hours. At the top on a fine day you can get views of the Southern Alps, Canterbury Plains and Banks Peninsula.

You can return via the same route (2-3 hours), or do the walk as part of a circuit, returning via the Wooded Gully Track (3 hours) or Ridge Track (5 hours), both to the west of Mt Thomas. If you want to do a circuit the Wooded Gully and Ridge Tracks are clearly signposed from Mt Thomas summit.

Route Options

There are many tracks in the Mt Thomas Forest area that can be enjoyed by walkers and trampers. Other options range from 1 hour walks to longer tramping routes. The Mt Thomas DOC informationprovides an outline on more of these tracks.

Height Profile

Thomas, Mt-2d.jpg

Images

Thomasconservationarea.jpg

Thomascampingarea.jpg

Thomasdocmap.jpg

Weather and Webcam Links

External Links

 

Stokes, Mt

Mt Stokes is the highest point in the Marborough Sounds and offers 360 degree views of the surrounding area including Charlotte and Pelorous Sounds. The walk to the top takes about half a day and is accessible by driving from the town of Picton.

List Status Official
Elevation 1,203 m (3,947 ft)
Location/List South Island, New Zealand
Region Nelson/Marlborough
Location Coordinates 41° 5′ 26″ S, 174° 6′ 6″ E
Nearest Town/s Picton
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 5-6 hours (return)
Distance 6.4 km (4 mi)
Start/End Points Titirangi Road
Difficulty Help.gif Medium
Track conditions Help.gif Track
Season Help.gif All year
Sights 360 views of Marlborough Sounds
Hazards Inclement weather

Getting There

By Car

From Picton drive down Queen Charlotte Drive as far as Linkwater. From Linkwater, turn into Kenepuru Road which you should follow as far as the head of Kenepuru Sound. From the head of Kenepuru Sound, turn on to Titirangi Road. Follow the road as far as Okoha Saddle, where you begin the walk.

Public Transport

It is possible to access Mt Stokes by taking a water taxi from Picton to Endeavor Inlet and beginning your walk from the Antimony Mines track, however this makes a very long day walk and should only be attempted by very fit walkers.

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

From Okoha Saddle commence the walk up Mt Stokes. The track leads uphill through beech forest. Continue steadily upwards for about 2 hours until the forest thins, and eventually the vegetation becomes more subalpine in nature (tussock and alpine plants). Soon after the change in vegetation you reach the summit where you are rewarded with great views of the Marborough Sounds, including the Queen Charlotte and Pelorous Sounds. Return the way you came to meet back up with your car. The return trip should take about 5-6 hours.

Height Profile

Stokes, Mt-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 112-112

Somers, Mt

The trip up to the top of Mount Somers is a steep climb, but at the top walkers are rewarded with fantastic views of the Southern Alps and Canterbury Plains. It is a long day trip which requires a reasonable level of fitness but is definitely achievable – it is regularly done by local 10 year olds in their last year of primary school. It is best attempted on a fine summers day though, as it is easy to get lost on the unmarked top in cloud and mist.

List Status Official
Elevation 1,688 m (5,538 ft)
Location/List South Island, New Zealand
Region Canterbury
Location Coordinates 43° 37′ 10″ S, 171° 22′ 30″ E
Nearest Town/s Methven, Ashburton, Christchurch
Geology Volcano
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 8-10 hours (return)
Distance 10.0 km (6.2 mi)
Start/End Points Sharplin Falls Carpark
Difficulty Help.gif Hard
Track conditions Help.gif Track, Unmarked Route, Unmarked Route near summit only, Scramble
Season Help.gif December to April
Sights Views of the Canterbury Plains and Southern Alps
Hazards Snow, Mist , Slippery surfaces, sheer drops

Getting There

By Car

From Christchurch, take State Highway 1 south to Ashburton, and once at Ashburton turn off to Methven. Before you get to Methven you’ll need to turn off again to Staveley (check your road map for the exact route as there are a network of minor roads!).

Drive past the Staveley Store and follow the signs to the Sharplin Falls carpark. It takes approximately 1.5 hours to drive from Christchurch to Staveley. The Staveley Store has supplies and and can also provide some local knowledge on the walk.

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

Park in the Sharplin Falls carpark. The start to the track is marked by a large sign. Head up the track which is well formed.

You will ascend up the first steep ridge to Hookey Knob (731 m). Continue on until you reach a junction. The south face of the Mount Somers Track goes in one direction (not shown on topographic map below, but is on the DOC map), and the Summit Track in the other. Continue walking up along the Summit Track.

Much of the track to the summit is unmarked, so it is best to only go up in good weather as it is easy to get lost if cloud or mist descends.

After enjoying the view of the Southern Alps and the Canterbury Plains, return the way you came to the Sharplin Falls Carpark. The return journey should take around 8-10 hours.

Some guidebooks suggest approaching the summit from the western side of Mt Somers – taking the Rhyolite Ridge track up and walking along the high Plateau Ridge which is unmarked. We had a go at doing this and found it very hard work negotiating the tussock and vegetation. We don’t personally recommend this alternative route, unless you are an experienced South Island mountain tramper.

Route Options

There are many other tracks in the Mt Somers Conservation Area that can be enjoyed by walkers and trampers. Other options include the multi-day Mt Somers Track (nothern and southern sections) and shorter walks and nature trails (e.g. Sharplin Falls – 45 min; Nature Trail – 30 min; Miners Track – 3 hours). The DOC Brochure provides an outline on more of these tracks.

Warning

Mt Somers is covered in snow in winter. An ice axe, crampons, and some mountaineering experience would be required to reach the summit.

Height Profile

Somers, Mt-2d.jpg

Images

Somersmain3.jpg

Somersstart.jpg

Somersview.jpg

Weather and Webcam Links

External Links

Sebastopol

There are few opportunites for non-mountaineers to experience standing on a summit in the Mt Cook National park, but a day hike to the summit of Sebastopol is one of them. By continuing on past the popular walk to the Red Tarns, Sebastopol can be bagged on a 5 hour return trip from Mt Cook Village. There are also a couple of guiding companies that will escort you to the summit if you wish.

More details on this walk can be seen at the SummitPost Sebastopol page

List Status Official
Elevation 1,468 m (4,816 ft)
Location/List South Island, New Zealand
Region Canterbury
Location Coordinates 43° 45′ 12″ S, 170° 5′ 58″ E
Nearest Town/s Mt Cook Village
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 5 hours (return)
Distance 4.4 km (2.7 mi)
Start/End Points Mt Cook Village Day Shelter
Difficulty Help.gif Medium
Track conditions Help.gif Track, Marked Route, Scramble, Scree/Scoria
Season Help.gif Summer & Autumn
Sights Views , Red Tarns, views of Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park
Hazards Alpine weather , snow/ice in winter & spring

Getting There

By Car

Mt Cook Village is a 2.5 hour drive from wither Christchurch or Queenstown. The Day Shelter is in the middle of Mt Cook Village.

Public Transport

As you can start the walk from Mt Cook Village itself, it is possible to use public transport to reach the start point. There are no trains to Mt Cook Village, but there are coach services provided by Intercity.

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Warning

Sebastopol is located in an alpine environment, and extreme weather and snow & ice can occur at any time of year. You must be suitably equipped and experienced for this tramp (summer)/mountaineering trip (winter). Please take care and gain up to date information from DOC before departing.

Height Profile

Sebastopol-2d.jpg

Weather and Webcam Links

Sandymount

The walk to Sandymount is perhaps one of the flattest on the PeakBagging.co.nz list, but the spectacular coastal scenery of Lovers Leap and the Chasm are amongst the best in New Zealand. It is also only a short drive from Dunedin.

List Status Official
Elevation 320 m (1,050 ft)
Location/List South Island, New Zealand
Region Otago/Southland
Location Coordinates 45° 53′ 29″ S, 170° 40′ 21″ E
Nearest Town/s Dunedin
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 1 hour (loop)
Distance 3.4 km (2.1 mi)
Start/End Points Sandymount Roadend
Difficulty Help.gif Easy
Track conditions Help.gif Track
Season Help.gif Nov to July (closed for lambing Aug 1 to Oct 31)
Sights Lovers Leap, The Chasm
Hazards Steep cliffs, exposed to coastal weather

Getting There

By Car

From Dunedin, take Portsmouth Drive, and turn left over the causeway and then right on to Marne St. Head left up Larnach Rd, and it will then join Highcliff Rd . Turn left and continue up Highcliff Rd utntil you some to Sandymount Road on your right.

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

You can walk the Sandmount/Lovers Leap loop in any direction. If you want to end with Sandymount itself, start by walking through the atmospheric stand of Macrocarpa trees that line the roadway (you may recognise this location as one that featured in old video by Dunedin band ‘The Chills’). After crossing a stile and crossing an area tussock, you will come to the junction of the track to The Chasm. After viewing The Chasm, return in the junction and continue past the equally awe inspiring Lovers Leap.

You then loop around the southern side of Sandymount before climbing up to the small summit. At the summit there is a plane table and excellent views of the coast.

Height Profile

Sandymount-2d.jpg

Weather and Webcam Links

External Links

References

A Walking Guide to Dunedin – Detailed Maps and Directions for 13 Walks, First Edition 2002, Silver Peaks Press.

Roys Peak

Roys Peak stands between Wanaka and Glendhu Bay, and as such, offers superb views over Lake Wanaka. This is a popular walk on a fine day, but it does involve a 1200m ascent, and is an exposed route in bad weather.

List Status Official
Elevation 1,581 m (5,187 ft)
Location/List South Island, New Zealand
Region Otago/Southland
Location Coordinates 44° 41′ 43″ S, 169° 2′ 58″ E
Nearest Town/s Wanaka, Queenstown
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 6-7 hours (return)
Distance 13.0 km (8.1 mi)
Start/End Points Wanaka-Aspiring Road
Difficulty Help.gif Hard
Track conditions Help.gif Track, Unmarked Route
Season Help.gif Summer/Autumn (closed 1 October to 10 November for lambing)
Sights Views over Wanaka & Mt Aspiring
Hazards Alpine weather , snow & ice in winter

Getting There

By Car

From Wanaka, travel along the Wanaka to Mount Aspiring Road as if going to Glendhu Bay. About 6km from Wanaka, the Roys Peak track starts from a signposted carpark. There is also a toilet here.

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

If you like walking up zig-zags, you’re in for a treat! The climb up Roys Peak is pretty relentless, and it begins immediately from the carpark. The first point of interest comes after about 40-60 minutes, where there is the gravesite of Wally Alan Scaife, who owned the Glendhu Station for about 50 years. From the grave site, the track continues to sidle and zigzag up the side of Roys Peak for what will feel like an eternity. Eventually, you will enter the Stack Conservation Area, which is no longer farmed.

After arriving up on to the ridge, you will obtain sweeping views across the lake. Now all that remains is to negotiate the final stretch of zigzags past two telecommunications towers, and then finally on to the summit trig.

Height Profile

Roys Peak-2d.jpg

Weather and Webcam Links

References

South island weekend tramps-cover.jpg South Island Weekend Tramps (Bird’s Eye Guides), Nick Groves, Craig Potton Publishing, 2003, See pages 142-143

Daywalks-cover.jpg Day Walks in New Zealand: 100 Great Tracks(Bird’s Eye Guides), Shaun Barnett, Craig Potton Publishing (2007), See pages 154-155

Richardson, Mt

Mt Richardson is small 1047m peak in the Mt Thomas Forest park near Oxford, and is within daytrip distance from Christchurch. The peak can be approached up the appropriately named Richardson Track, which travels through beech forest and over some tussock tops.

It is possible to make it a 4-6 hour loop journey, by following Blowhard and Bypass Tracks back to the Glentui Carpark.

The track is mostly shaded by beech forest so is a nice walk on a hot day.

List Status Official
Elevation 1,047 m (3,435 ft)
Location/List South Island, New Zealand
Region Canterbury
Location Coordinates 43° 10′ 50″ S, 172° 13′ 22″ E
Nearest Town/s Oxford, Christchurch
Range Mt Thomas Forest
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 4-6 hours (return)
Distance 7.5 km (4.7 mi)
Start/End Points Glentui picnic area and carpark
Difficulty Help.gif Medium
Track conditions Help.gif Track
Sights Forest , Views of the Lees Valley, beech forest
Hazards Wasps (Jan – Mar), alpine weather & snow/ice in winter

Getting There

By Car

From the centre of Oxford township, follow the big green sign to Ashley Gorge (near the BP Service Station). Continue for about 8km, past the Ashley Gorge Reserve and then turn off and cross the bridge towards Glentui. Glentui is about 12 km from Oxford.

At Glentui, turn left up Glentui Bush Road, and drive all the way to the end to the Glentui Picnic Area and carpark. You will pass a homestay and motel on the way down Glentui Bush Road.

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Height Profile

Richardson, Mt-2d.jpg

Images

Mt Richardsonpicnicarea.jpg

Weather and Webcam Links

External Links

Queenstown Hill

Also known as Te Tapu-nui

The walk up Queenstown Hill not only offers great views over the Queenstown region, but also provides a Queenstown history lesson. Informational panels guide you along a Queenstown ‘time walk’, and then culminate in the ‘Basket of Dream’ millenium sculture. You will also pass through Douglas fir forests and see rowan, macrocarpa, eucalyptus and larch growing on the hill.

The walk starts form Belfast Terrace in Queenstown, which is within walking distance from the Queenstown CBD. We advise you get to obtain and up to date weather and track information from the Queenstown DOC office before embarking on this walk.

For further information on this walk, see Time Walk On Queenstown Hill

List Status Official
Elevation 907 m (2,976 ft)
Location/List South Island, New Zealand
Region Otago/Southland
Location Coordinates 45° 0′ 33″ S, 168° 41′ 32″ E
Nearest Town/s Queenstown
Translation Te Tapu-nui: mountain of intense sacredness
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 2-3 hours (return)
Distance 8.9 km (5.5 mi)
Start/End Points Belfast Street, Queenstown
Difficulty Help.gif Medium
Track conditions Help.gif Track, Rocky surface
Season Help.gif November to April
Sights Lakes , Views over Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu, Cecil Peak & The Remarkables; ‘Time Walk’ and ‘Basket of Dreams’
Hazards Snow in winter

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Height Profile

Queenstown Hill-2d.jpg

Weather and Webcam Links

External Links

Oxford, Mt

Mt Oxford

The Mt Oxford Forest area contains a number of different walking and mountain biking trails. It is possible to walk to the top of Mt Oxford as a return journey, or by doing a circuit around the trails.

List Status Official
Elevation 1,364 m (4,475 ft)
Location/List South Island, New Zealand
Region Canterbury
Nearest Town/s Oxford, Christchurch
Geology Sedimentary
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 7-8 hours (return)
Distance 13.0 km (8.1 mi)
Start/End Points Coopers Creek Carpark
Difficulty Help.gif Medium
Track conditions Help.gif Track, Marked Route, Unmarked Route
Sights Views of the Canterbury Plains and Southern Alps
Hazards Snow , Slippery surfaces

Getting There

By Car

From Oxford township take State Highway 72 west. Turn off State Highway 72, and head towards Coopers Creek. Turn right at the Mountain Road Sign and on to a dirt road. Go left at the next fork and you will find the carpark immediately afterward, with a sign describing the Mt Oxford Forest Area. This is the easiest park extrance for climbing Mt Oxford.

A number of other road approaches also exist and these are described in the Mt Oxford DOC brochure

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

The most direct way to the top of Mt Oxford (Route 1) starts from the Coopers Creek carpark. The track climbs through farmland, beech forest and snow tussock before reaching the summit of Mt Oxford (1364 m). The climb to the top should take about 4 hours.

You can either return the way you came, or make a longer circuit, by walking back via Route 4. Route 4 will eventually meet with the Wharfdale Track at which point you turn left. You then pass the Ryde Falls Track and turn left at the junction after that which should take you back to Coopers Creek carpark (3.5 hours).

Route Options

There are many other tracks in the Mt Oxford Forest area that can be enjoyed by walkers and trampers. Other options range from 2.5 to 5 hours one way depending on the walk. The Oxford Forest DOC brochure provides an outline on more of these tracks.

Height Profile

Oxford, Mt-2d.jpg

Images

Mtoxfordcarpark.jpg

Mtoxfordsign.jpg

Weather and Webcam Links

External Links