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Black Hill

Black Hill is a 1335m summit in the 11,350 hectare Oxford Forest, which is about 56km north west of Christchurch. The 6 bunk Black Hill hut near the summit offers an opportunity to overnight, although it should be possible to reach Black Hill on a return day trip from Lees Valley.

List Status Official
Elevation 1,335?m?(4,380?ft)
Location/List South Island, New Zealand
Region Canterbury
Location Coordinates 43? 10′ 42″ S, 171? 59′ 44″ E
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 1-2 days (return)
Distance 28.0?km?(17.4?mi)
Start/End Points Lees Valley or View Hill
Difficulty Help.gif Hard
Sights Views, Huts , Views of Waimakariri gorge, Black Hill hut
Hazards Alpine weather, Snow, Ice , Wasps (Jan to Mar)

Getting There

By Car

The turn off to Lees Valley is from Ashley Gorge Road, about 6km north of Oxford. The Lees Valley Road winds over the hills, over the Less Valley Bridge, and shortly after arrives at Mt Pember Station.

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

There are a few different options for reaching Black Hill:

1. Start from Mt Pember station, and walk for 8.5km along a 4WD track to the confluence of Townsend River and Dobson Stream (which used to be the site of Townsend Hut (now removed)). From here there is a tramping route that climbs up a beech covered ridgeline, and on to Black Hill Hut and the Black Hill summit itself. This would be a 28km return journey, with the options over staying at Black Hill hut.

2. At least one week before you intend to tramp, contact Mt Pember station and request permission to drive past the locked gate, and on to the confluence of Townsend River and Dobson Stream. You will need a 4WD vehicle to drive down this track. This will cut the walking considerably, and Black Hill could be reached in a 6-7 hour return day walk.

3. You could also continue to Wharfedale Hut (10 bunks), and then follow the Wharfedale track to the junction above Coal Creek and Dobson stream. From here turn north up the ridge and on to Black Hill hut.

For more information see:

Height Profile

Black Hill-2d.jpg

Weather and Webcam Links

Ben Ohau

The walk to the top of Ben Ohau takes a good half to full day, depending on how leisurely you want to take it. At the top there are 360 degree views of the MacKenzie Basin and lakes Ohau, Pukaki, Benmore and Ruataniwha.

List Status Official
Elevation 1,522?m?(4,993?ft)
Location/List South Island, New Zealand
Region Canterbury
Location Coordinates 44? 15′ 37″ S, 169? 54′ 28″ E
Nearest Town/s Twizel
Range Ben Ohau Range
Geology Sedimentary
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 4-5 hours (return)
Distance 11.0?km?(6.8?mi)
Start/End Points The track is located off Glen Lyon Road which travels around the eastern edge of Lake Ohau.
Difficulty Help.gif Medium
Track conditions Help.gif 4WD Road
Season Help.gif Summer, autumn. Could be attempted at other times of year if not snow-covered.
Sights Views , 360 degree views of the MacKenzie Basin
Hazards Snow, Ice

Getting There

By Car

To get there by car, take Glen Lyon Road from near Twizel. It’s probably a good idea to refer to a map as you’ll need to negotiate a canal or two before you you get to the end of the road where the carpark is! Eventually you will find a carpark and a DOC sign on the eastern side of Lake Ohau, that indicates the start of the walk.

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

A DOC sign indicates the start of the walk up Ben Ohau. Follow the farm road up through remnant beech forest and up the western flank of Ben Ohau Peak. Eventually you reach a saddle where a fence line crosses the track. From the saddle, the route leaves the road, and you’ll need to scramble a further 152 metres to the summit of Ben Ohau Peak at 1522 metres.

At the top there are 360 degree views of the MacKenzie Basin and lakes Ohau, Pukaki, Benmore and Ruataniwha. On a nice day you can have lunch on the top.

Take plenty of water as much of the walk is in the sun. In winter and in westerly wind conditions, it can be cold.

Height Profile

Ben Ohau-2d.jpg

Weather and Webcam Links

External Links

References

MacKenzie Country and Upper Waitaki River – Walks, Daytramps & Mountain Bike Trails, Mark Pickering, Mark Pickering Publishing, 2006, p 23.

Ben Lomond

Ben Lomond Summit. Photo by Vinodrinker

Not to be confused with the Scottish munro of the same name, Queenstown’s Ben Lomond is just one of many New Zealand peaks named Ben Lomond. Ben Lomond provides great views over Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown and the surrounding mountains, and makes an excellent daywalk from the New Zealand resort town of Queenstown. The summit is at 1748m however, and in winter you would need alpine skills and experience to get to the summit.

List Status Official
Elevation 1,748?m?(5,735?ft)
Location/List South Island, New Zealand
Region Otago/Southland
Location Coordinates 45? 0′ 26″ S, 168? 36′ 56″ E
Nearest Town/s Queenstown
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 5-7 hours (return)
Distance 9.5?km?(5.9?mi)
Start/End Points Queenstown Skyline Gondola or One Mile Creek roundabout
Difficulty Help.gif Hard
Track conditions Help.gif Track, Unmarked Route
Season Help.gif November to April
Sights Views , Views over Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu, Mt Earnslaw & The Remarkables; Gondola ride
Hazards Alpine weather , steep and rocky

Getting There

By Car

If yoy want to shorten the walk a little, and indulge in the complete Queenstown tourist experience, you can start this daywalk from the top of the Queenstown Gondola. If you prefer to save a few dollars, you can also start from the beginning of One Mile Creek track, which is located at the One Mile Creek roundabout, on the Queenstown-Glenorchy Road.
Public Transport

Both the Queenstown gondola and the One Mile Creek roundabout are within walking distance from central Queenstown. Alpine Taxis(0800 442 6666) also provide tour options, as well as a normal taxi service.

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

Before you begin, it is important to note the following recommendations:

  • The section of track from the saddle to the summit is very steep and DOC does not recommend this walk for children under 10 years of age.
  • Parts of the track cross private land. Please respect the landowner?s rights and keep to the formed track to avoid stock disturbance and farm hazards.
  • This is a New Zealand alpine daywalk. There is no water available enroute, and you will not find a cafe at the summit serving beer and spaghetti! Take plenty of food and water, and warm clothing (even on a hot day) – it can be a lot colder at the summit than in Queenstown.
  • Make sure you have enough daylight hours to complete this 5-7 hour walk.

So once you have your tramping party suitably prepared and equipped for alpine daywalk, you can start from either the bottom of One Mile Creek Track, or from the top of the Queenstown Gondola. Starting from the top of gondola (which cuts out a steep climb from the road), paved paths and signs point the way to the Ben Lomond track. You will first travel through stands of Douglas Fir, before emerging above the bushline and into alpine tussock. After passing the signposted junction with One Mile Creek track, you will then head steadily upwards to the saddle (and a seat) (1.5-2hrs from gondola). At this point the track to the summit becomes very steep and rocky, and you cairns guide the way to the summit. After about 45 minutes of clambering up this steep section, the summit provides a plane table and extensive views.

Allow 4-5 hours for the return journey from the top of the Gondola, and 6-7 hours if departing from One Mile Creek Track.

Height Profile

Ben Lomond-2d.jpg

Images

BenLomondtrack.jpg

BenLomondlakewakitipu.jpg

Benlomondlakewakitipuview.jpg

Weather and Webcam Links

External 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 156-157

Avalanche Peak

Avalanche Peak is located next to Arthur’s Pass township in the Southern Alps. The DOC website describes the walk to the top as an “an extremely steep and rocky journey to the top of an 1833-metre peak”. However, if you prepare well and take notice of the weather, it should be an enjoyable experience. At the top you are rewarded with views of Mt Rolleston and other surrounding mountains of the Southern Alps.

List Status Official
Elevation 1,833?m?(6,014?ft)
Location/List South Island, New Zealand
Region Canterbury
Location Coordinates 42? 56′ 35″ S, 171? 32′ 9″ E
Nearest Town/s Arthur’s Pass
Range Southern Alps
Geology Sedimentary
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 6-8 hours (return)
Distance 6.2?km?(3.9?mi)
Start/End Points Scott’s Track: SH 73, 1 km north of the Arthur’s Pass visitor’s centre; Avalanche Peak Track: behind the visitors centre
Difficulty Help.gif Hard
Track conditions Help.gif Track, Marked Route, Steep embankments, Scree/Scoria, Rocky surface
Season Help.gif Summer, autumn
Sights Views , Views of the Southern Alps
Hazards Alpine weather , scree slope, snow/ice in winter, wind, sheer drops

Getting There

By Car

From Christchurch take State Highway 73 north-west to Arthur’s Pass township. The walk can be attempted from two locations – Avalanche Peak Track, behind the visitors centre or Scott’s Track, 1 km north of the visitor’s centre.
Public Transport

Arthur’s Pass can also be reached by taking the scenic TranzAlpine train. Arthur’s Pass village itself is tiny, so there is no need for local transport once you get there.

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

There are two main ways that Avalanche Peak can be attempted – by doing a round trip, or by doing a return trip (walking up and down the same way).

Return Trip via Scott’s Track

DOC recommend if you want to do a return trip that the easiest way to go is via Scott’s Track as this track is less steep than the Avalanche Peak Track. The walk starts about 1 km north of Arthur’s Pass township and is signposted on the main road opposite Devils Punchbowl Falls.

The track travels through forest to the bushline which takes about 1 hr 30 mins. From the bush line, orange stakes mark the route towards the summit. DOC recommends that you take care to follow the markers, as off the track it is steep and dangerous. Also you should take note of the weather as the track becomes dangerous in poor visibility and windy conditions. Turn back if the weather looks bad, or you are in doubt.

Round Trip via Avalanche Peak Track and Scott’s Track

Start the round trip from the Avalanche Peak Track. The Avalanche Peak Track starts behind the visitors centre at Arthur’s Pass township. The Avalanche Peak Track can be steep in places (causing you to scramble up rocks and hold on to tree roots) and exposed near the top with steep drops. Follow the track through beech forest up to the bushline (1.5 – 2 hours). Then follow the yellow poles, until you meet up with Scott’s Track (orange poles). Continue following the markers (yellow and orange) to the top of Avalanche Peak (if the weather allows). The walk from the bushline to the peak should take 2.5 – 2 hours. Descend for a short time via the way you came, then branch off at Scott’s Track which you will follow down. When you reach the main road, follow the road back to Arthur’s Pass township.
The DOC website provides a good description of the Avalanche Peak summit walks.

Route Options

A variety of different walking options exist in and around Arthur’s Pass, ranging from short walks through to multi- day tramps. The DOC website outlines the different options available.

Warning

Avalanche Peak is not a climb to be taken lightly. People have died on this route and in winter and spring the area is prone to avalanches. The walk is very steep and exposed and dangerous in bad weather. Take sensible precautions, and definitely do not become obsessed with reaching the summit no matter what!

Height Profile

Avalanche Peak-2d.jpg

Weather and Webcam Links

External Links

Arthur, Mt

Mt Arthur, with track and cairn in foreground

Also known as Wharepapa

“I expect to come this way but once.

Any goodness therefore that I do,

Or any kindess that I can show to my fellow creatures,

Let me do it now.

Let me not defer or neglect it,

For I may not pass this way again”

Quote by Stephen Grellet, etched into the railing of Mt Arthur Hut

Named after the founder of the Nelson settlement (Captain Arthur Wakefield), Mt Arthur can be seen from both Nelson and Motueka. Situated amongst the karst landscape of the Mt Arthur ‘Tablelands’, the tramp to the summit shows off the complex maze of sinkholes, potholes, and caves that intertwine in this area. Another highlight is the exceptionally pretty grove of mountain neinei, which grow on the ridge leading to Mt Arthur Hut.

List Status Official
Elevation 1,795?m?(5,889?ft)
Location/List South Island, New Zealand
Region Nelson/Marlborough
Location Coordinates 41? 13′ 4″ S, 172? 40′ 54″ E
Nearest Town/s Motueka, Nelson
Range Arthur Range
Geology Sedimentary
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 8 hours (return)
Distance 16.0?km?(9.9?mi)
Start/End Points Flora Saddle Carpark
Difficulty Help.gif Hard
Track conditions Help.gif Path, Track, Scramble, Snow/Ice (seasonal)
Season Help.gif December to April
Sights Views, Huts , Mt Arthur Hut, views of the Tablelands
Hazards Alpine weather, Snow, Ice, Mist , caves, sink holes

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

The track to the summit of Mt Arthur 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.

Have a hunt around the hut for the engraved quotation, and a take few moments to admire the peak of Lodestone, which is northeast from the hut. You can of course overnight in the hut if you want to break the journey, but Mt Arthur can just as easily 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, but to get to Mt Arthur, head left and continue along the ridge.

If you’re feeling a bit tired by this stage, unfortunately the next section will do little to lift your spirits. The track now climbs and descends three times before reaching the foot of the final scramble to the summit. The tramping does get a little more difficult beyond the Horseshoe Basin intersection, with a couple of steepish scree slopes to contend with. You then need to sidle across back towards the flat summit of Mt Arthur, before doing little scrambling up the last two steep sections just below the summit. As always, it’s not as difficult as it looks from a distance, and you’ll be on the summit before you know it!

Unlike the sheltered northeastern face you scrambled up, the summit is fairly exposed to the south, and the windchill here might come as a shock! Be sure to rug up before you make the final scramble to the summit, and once there, you can always take refuge behind the summit cairn.

Return via the same route, which may or may not be slightly quicker, depending on how your body’s holding up! It took us 8 hours to complete this tramp (4 hrs 30 mins up and 3 hrs 30 mins down).

Height Profile

Arthur, Mt-2d.jpg

Images

700pxArthurfloracarpark.jpg

700pxArthurstart.jpg

700pxArthurridge.jpg

700pxArthurhut.jpg

700pxArthursummit.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 108-108

South island weekend tramps-cover.jpg South Island Weekend Tramps (Bird’s Eye Guides), Nick Groves, Craig Potton Publishing, 2003, See pages 15-15

101greattramps-cover.jpg 101 Great Tramps in New Zealand, Mark Pickering and Rodney Smith, Reed Publishing NZ Ltd. (2004), See pages 131-134

Nelson & Malborough Foothills and Coastal Regions, Pat Barret, Shoal Bay (2007), pg 108

Angelus Peak

Angelus Peak is an imposing mountain located in the Nelson Lakes National Park. There are a number of tramping routes in this area, and in clear conditions you will be rewarded with magnificent views of Lake Rotoiti and of a pretty alpine basin complete with tarns. If you make it to the summit of Mt Angelus, it is likely you will also be able to bag Mt Robert along the way.

Location/List South Island, New Zealand
Region Nelson/Marlborough
Location Coordinates 41? 54′ 27″ S, 172? 44′ 39″ E
Nearest Town/s St Arnaud, Nelson
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 2 days (return)
Distance 26.1?km?(16.2?mi)
Start/End Points Mt Robert Carpark/Coldwater Hut
Difficulty Help.gif Hard
Track conditions Help.gif Track, Marked Route, Scramble
Season Help.gif January to April
Sights Views, Lakes, Huts , Views of Lake Rotoiti and Lake Angelus, Angelus Hut
Hazards Alpine weather, Snow, Ice, High winds , scree slopes

Getting There

By Car

After checking track and weather conditions with the local DOC Office in St Arnaud (it can snow on the tops at any time of year), leave the township of St Arnaud and turn down the signposted road leading to the Western Lakeside DOC camping ground. Pass by the stunning little boat ramp (and perhaps take a moment to admire Mt Robert), and continue up the dirt road, past the campgrounds, and across the small bridge which traverses the source of the Buller River. Park at the last carpark at the very top of the road, where the Pinchgut Track begins.

Public Transport

Nelson Lakes Shuttles run a comprehensive shuttle service to many tramps in this area, including to the Mt Robert carpark from St Arnaud ($10 per person).

If you want to start or end the tramp from Coldwater Hut, you can use water taxis to transport you along the lake from St Arnaud. See Rotoiti Water Taxis.

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

The track zigzags many times up the mountain, first through grassland and scrub, and then through beech forest. Much of the original forest was burned down in an accidental fire in 1887 (and suffered from subsequent controlled fires for farming after this time), and the beautiful forest you pass through has regrown after replanting started in the 1960’s. After about 1 to 1.5 hours of ascending the switchbacks, you will reach the Bushedge Shelter. Take a moment to peek inside the cute little shelter, and note the informational sign about what to do if you see a tagged Kea in the park.

Not long after leaving the shelter, the track starts to sidle around the summit of Mt Robert, and snow poles begin to demarcate the route. The poled route continues down to the second of the small shelters (Relax Shelter), and then starts along Robert Ridge. From here you will walk near the summits of Flagtop (1690m), Julius Summit (1794m), and on to Angelus Hut. Allow 6-7 hours to get to Angelus Hut from Mt Robert carpark. Angelus Hut has 40 bunks, but it can be very busy in the summer.

The next day (if the weather is clear, and the mountain is clear of snow and ice) you can begin a trip up Angelus Peak by following the track to Sabine Hut. Once you pass Lake Angelus and then Hinapouri Tarn, you can then head up to Sunset Saddle and up to the summit of Angelus Peak.

From the summit, backtrack to Angelus Hut, where you might wish to stay another night. To return to St Arnaud you can return along the ridge (or drop down to the Speargrass Creek track) back to the Mt Robert carpark. The other option is to follow the poled Hukere Stream track down to Coldwater Hut. Be warned however, this track is steep and you will need to navigate slippery scree slopes and tussock. After dropping 1000m in about 4km, you will reach the Travers River, where the walking thankfully flattens out as you skirt along the river towards Coldwater Hut. From Coldwater Hut you can take a water taxi back to St Arnaud.

It would also be possible to do the trip in reverse, or start and finish from Coldwater Hut.

Route Options

Any number of return of loop journeys can be used to bag Angelus Peak. We advise visiting the St Arnaud DOC office to obtain up to date information on the best route for your party.

Warning

Angelus Peak is in an alpine environment, and snowfalls can happen at any time of year. You need to be suitably equipped and experienced for an alpine trek, and obtain up to date local forecasts before setting out. Avoid the Robert Ridge track in high winds and carry your own water.

Height Profile

Angelus Peak-2d.jpg

Weather and Webcam Links

External Links

Zion, Mt


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Also known as Hikurangi
Mt Zion rises south of the main beach at Karekare in the Waitakere Ranges. At 272 m, it provides the opportunity for a short walk to the top. There are many tracks in the area – we describe a loop walk that can be done that takes in both the forest and coastal experience.

List Status Official
Elevation 272?m?(892?ft)
Location/List North Island, New Zealand
Region Auckland
Location Coordinates 36? 59′ 49″ S, 174? 28′ 60″ E
Nearest Town/s Karekare, Piha Beach, Waitakere, Auckland
Range Waitakere Ranges
Geology Volcano
Translation hiku: summit; rangi: sky
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 1 hour to the top of Zion and return or 4 hours for whole circuit
Distance 7.6?km?(4.7?mi)
Start/End Points Karekare carpark
Difficulty Help.gif Medium
Track conditions Help.gif Track, Mud, Steep embankments, Stream/River Crossings
Season Help.gif All year
Sights Views, Bush , views of the coast,kauri grove
Hazards Slippery underfoot if it has been raining, Pararaha Creek at the bottom of Buck Track can flood

Getting There

By Car

From Auckland (Titirangi), follow the scenic drive for 10 km before turning left on to Piha Road. Follow this road for 11 km, then turn left on to Karekare Road. If you drive for a further 3 km you will end up at a carpark, picnic area and toilets. Park in the carpark and start the walk from there.

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

Park at the Karekare carpark at the beach community of Karekare. From the carpark, take the Pohutukawa Glade Walk to a picnic area. This is where you should find a signpost that indicates where the Zion Hill track starts.

Follow the track up the hill. The track passes through forest and has some good views back over Karekare Beach. Eventually after about 30 minutes you will reach the summit of Mt Zion.

An alternative track (Zion Ridge track) branches off at this point however stay on the Zion Hill track and continue along the undulating ridge. The track can be muddy and slippery in places. Eventually you will cross a small stream and reach a kauri grove with some sizable trees.

As you continue onwards, the track crosses a second stream before joining the Buck Taylor Track. Head right along this track. Shortly, you will come to another junction. Turnoff to Muir track is to the left and right will take you to the beach. Follow the right-hand beach track to the big black sand hill to the west.

There is a signpost just before you climb the sand hill to direct you onwards. The track heads off in the general direction of nor-nor-west. The landscape around the “beach” portion of the walk is a mixture of sand dunes and swampy wetland. The track can be grassy and sometimes hard to see, but the walk should not be difficult as long as you keep the cliff face on your right shoulder, and the sea on your left. Along the way you will pass campsites and a tunnel (which can be walked through) and some toilets.

Eventually you will get back to Karekare Point, and will see The Watchman rock. Do not cross the creek which flows in front of it, rather follow the creek up-stream inland. This will take you through a grassy area and back to Karekare carpark where you started.

Route Options

There are a number of tracks in the area which can be walked as part of a Mt Zion trip. An alternative loop includes walking the Zion Hill Track, Buck Taylor Track, Zion Ridge Track, and returning back down the Zion Hill Track.

Also for a longer walk, one might go as far as the Muir Track turn-off and take in the Gibbons Track returning via the coast. This walk would constitute a long day walk (approximately 8 hours) or could be done over 2 days if staying at the campgrounds in the area.

The main Karekare waterfall, known by the Kawerau people as ?Te Ahoaho’ or ?pendulous white thread’, is located a short walk from the main beach arrival area and can also be visited.

Height Profile

Zion, Mt-2d.jpg

External Links

Trip reports


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xx Zion

March 31, 2018, 04:36:03 PM by GuanoGerbil

"Log update. One of the few peaks I've only done once!"

0 comments | Write Comment

xx Report

September 30, 2017, 03:02:45 PM by DeanoD

"I was in Auckland for a few days and popped up for a walk to escape the hustel and bussel"

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xx Mt Zion

February 01, 2017, 03:38:53 PM by krufu

"Nice way to finish the Pararaha Valley walk."

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xx Mt Zion, out and about around Karekare.

January 10, 2015, 03:18:08 PM by Lostcourse

"Out and about Karekare this afternoon for a hike, geocaching and to bag this peak. I came up the Hill track before taking the Ridge track to the summit and a little further. I then returned the Hill track to make my way down to the beach. I took a small detour to bush bash to the top of a waterfall just off the track. I made my way back to the car along the beach following the Hillary trail for much of it. All in all it was a four and a half hour adventure."

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xx Mt Zion

January 10, 2015, 03:09:35 PM by Lostcourse

"Out and about Karekare this afternoon for a hike, geocaching and to bag this peak. I came up the Hill track before taking the Ridge track to the summit and a little further. I then returned the Hill track to make my way down to the beach. I took a small detour to bush bash to the top of a waterfall just off the track. I made my way back to the car along the beach following the Hillary trail for much of it. All in all it was a four and a half hour adventure."

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xx Mt Zion and beyond...

August 28, 2012, 12:26:25 PM by Rubberduck-e

"Metservice had the morning looking the best with the clouds due to roll in as the afternoon wore on so as per usual I turned up nice and early for this one.

The site description of the track is very accurate, I simply popped over the bridge hung a right when it came to the Pohutukawa glade walk and kept an eye out for the Zion Hill track. From there it is a reasonably easy climb. As you go up, if you see what appears to be a small track leading away to the right, I think there was about two of these, take it, it’s only about four or five paces and you will be at a lookout. One of them even had a bench and the view was a fantastic Karekare beach!

Anyway before you can say “what peak” you will have bagged it, and as the site suggest from here things did get a bit..."

1 comment | Write Comment

xx Mt Zion

May 09, 2011, 03:52:48 AM by Sasquatch

"From Buck Taylor car park via Zion Ridge track to the lookout call Mt Zion.  Excellent views over Manukau heads wild coast line 20min.  Return via Zion Hill>Buck Taylor track to car park.  Would be nice if dry underfoot, some more views, nice forest, would re do on a dry week."

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xx Mt Zion Picture

April 25, 2011, 03:49:17 PM by vinodrinker

"Took a picture from further up the hillary trail today down toward karekare and Mt Zion which is the rather rounded "peak" here which shows itself as the highest point on the horizon"

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xx Mt Zion

January 05, 2011, 02:48:36 PM by Ash Bash

"It was funny when we did Mt Zion because Dad was ahead of us so he went the right way but Claire, Mum and I went the wrong way but that is better because it meant we walked a longer time than our Dad."

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xx Mt Zion

April 13, 2010, 08:35:48 AM by Chris FRENCH

"Not much of a summit to speak of but a fantastic walk with views of the west coast and regenerating bush. I walked up the Zion Hill Track and onto the Zion ridge track onto the Buck Taylor track and back onto the Zion Hill Track back to Karekare. It was a sunny day without wind what a walk. It took me about 2.5 - 3 hours medium pace."

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xx See Previous

January 25, 2010, 11:50:53 AM by Inspector Clouseau

"See Previous"

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xx Winter & Mt Zion

January 25, 2010, 11:06:54 AM by Inspector Clouseau

"I bagged this one over the Winter (July I think). At least I think I did. The GPS on the phone said I had. The problem is there is nothing to mark the summit and it is such a rounded peak that there is an element of guess work required.

The track was a complete bog in a number of places and lethley slippery in others. The return across the back of the dunes requires fording an overflowing marsh which means very wet feet and the route through the dunes is completely random. The campsite and tramline tunnel are an interesting diversion but I wouldn't reccomend this walk to anyone in particular. It is probably more challanging for a mountain bike rider.

On the other side of Karekare is a much worthier bag. Follow Comans Track (now part of Sir Ed's Walkway) to the Mercer ..."

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xx Mt Zion

October 29, 2009, 01:51:07 PM by PeakRunner

"From Karekare car park.
Zion Hill Tk, Zion Ridge Tk (2.9k 45m) Buck Taylor Tk (1.2k 18m) Zion Hill Tk (2.1k 27m) Zion Hill Tk (1.5k 15m)
Total time: 1 hr40
Total distance ca 7.7km
Total Climb ca. 430 M"

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xx Mt Zion - ex Karekare Beach

June 09, 2008, 09:05:33 AM by vinodrinker

"This is little more than a moderate walk.

Leaving from the carpark at Karekare beach, cross the bridge and turn down pohutakawa glade track walking for about 100m before the zion hill track branches off upwards.

The track is well formed and gentle/ moderate slope which hardly gets the heart pumping

There are a couple of points where lookouts step off the main track where you get great views of Karekare Beach and further up you get views of Whatipu. Classic west coast scenery

The summit is unmarked so thats a bit of a pain but the map marks it as close to the intersection of the zion ridge track and zion hill track.  To my eye the highest point seems to be about 100m further on up the zion ridge track.

Would be a great break away from a..."

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William, Mt

A peak bagging trip to summit of Mt William provides an easy walk just south of Auckland’s Bombay Hills. You can take a short detour to a kauri grove, and at the summit you will be rewarded with views of the Firth of Thames and the west coast.

For more details on the walk, see DOC Mt William walkway page

List Status Official
Elevation 373?m?(1,224?ft)
Location/List North Island, New Zealand
Region Auckland
Location Coordinates 37? 12′ 29″ S, 175? 1′ 24″ E
Nearest Town/s Aukland
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 3 hours (return)
Distance 3.5?km?(2.2?mi)
Start/End Points McMillan Rd or Puketutu Rd
Difficulty Help.gif Easy
Track conditions Help.gif Path, Track
Season Help.gif October to July (closed for lambing Aug/Sept)
Sights Views , Native trees, views to Firth of Thames

Getting There

Car

Simply head south out of Auckland (assuming that’s where you’re coming from!) and turn on to State Highway 2 as if going to the Coromandel. About 1.5 km east of the SH1/SH2 intersection, turn into Irish Rd, and then left into McMillan Rd.

If you want to start from the Puketutu end of the walk, take the Beaver Rd exit off SH1, and drive along Beaver Rd East, turn right on to Razorback Rd, and then left into Puketutu Rd.

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Height Profile

William, Mt-2d.jpg

Images

393pxMtwilliamtrack.jpg

Mtwilliamtriggirl.jpg

Weather and Webcam Links

External Links

Whakapoungakau

Whakapoungakau is a rhyolite dome on the shores of Lake Okataina. The track starts from the Outdoor Education Centre, which is just off Lake Okataina Road. The first part of the route follows the Western Okataina Walkway. At the top of the hill, the track to Whakapoungakau turns off to the right. At the summit there is an open clearing and a radio mast, and great views of the surrounding Rotorua Lakes district and out to the coast.

List Status Official
Elevation 758?m?(2,487?ft)
Location/List North Island, New Zealand
Region Bay of Plenty/East Coast
Location Coordinates 38? 5′ 37″ S, 176? 23′ 47″ E
Nearest Town/s Rotorua
Geology Volcano
Translation Place of Heart’s Desire. Tane Whakaraka was a great hunter, a bird-spearsman and snare-setter. Tane pointed to the blue mountains and said to his sisters: ?I am going up yonder. I may be a long time away. I have fixed my heart upon those hills. Remain you here and I will bring you the spoils of the forest.? (Source: NZETC)
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 4-5 hours return
Distance 9.0?km?(5.6?mi)
Start/End Points Outdoor Education Centre
Difficulty Help.gif Easy
Track conditions Help.gif Track, Marked Route, Steep embankments
Season Help.gif All year
Sights Views, Lakes , Views of Lake Rotoiti and to the northen coast
Hazards Track could be slippery after rain

Getting There

By Car

From Rotorua, take the main road that leads to Rotorua Airport. Go past the airport and turn right when you see the sign that points to Whakatane. Drive 15-20 minutes until you reach a sign that points to Lake Okataina. Turn right and drive down this road until you reach the Outdoor Education Centre (turn right into the driveway), where you can park by the start of the Western Okataina Walkway/Whangapoungakau track.

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

Start the walk from the Outdoor Education Centre near Lake Okataina. There is a wooden archway and some information boards at the start of the track. The track first meanders along flat land through grass and forest. There are a couple of turns-offs early on which take you to Lake Okataina, but keep following the signs along the Western Walkway and to Whangapoungakau Trig. After about 15-20 minutes from the start of the walk, the track starts to get steeper as you begin walking up the side of a rhyolite dome. The track is well formed and wide but could get slippery after heavy rain or in winter. Beautiful bush surrounds the track with native birds chirping in the background.

After about 1.5-2 hours of walking, you reach a junction. To the left the Western Walkway carries on, but turn right to go to Whakapoungakau Trig. The track narrows, but is still well formed and relatively easy to walk along. From the junction it takes about another 20 minutes to reach the top.

At the top there is a trig and a radio mast (and associated building). A large grassy area makes it a great place to have a snack or a picnic. There are great views on one side looking toward the Rotorua Lakes district and the coast to the north.

After taking in the views, return to the Okataina Outdoor Education Centre the same way you same. A return trip for this walk should take about 4-5 hours. If you haven’t eaten already, drive on a bit further to Lake Okataina and enjoy a relaxing picnic by its shores!

Route Options

There are a number of walking options in and around Lake Okataina ranging from as little as a 20 minute stroll to all-day or multi-day tramps. See the DOC website for Lake Okataina walking and tramping tracks.

Height Profile

Whakapoungakau-2d.jpg

Weather and Webcam Links

External Links

Urchin

Urchin is a tussock covered peak in the Kaimanawa Ranges. It lies at one end of a popular 2 day loop tramp which also takes in Umukarikari (1591), the Waipakihi Hut, and the Waipakihi River valley. However, if your prime objective is to bag Urchin, then it can be climbed on return half day tramp.

List Status Official
Elevation 1,392?m?(4,567?ft)
Location/List North Island, New Zealand
Region Central Plateau/Taupo
Location Coordinates 39? 10′ 31″ S, 175? 50′ 41″ E
Nearest Town/s Ohakune, Waiouru, Turangi, Taupo
Range Kaimanawas
Geology Sedimentary
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 3-5 hours (return)
Distance 5.8?km?(3.6?mi)
Start/End Points Kaimanawa Rd
Difficulty Help.gif Medium
Track conditions Help.gif Track, Marked Route
Season Help.gif November to May
Hazards Changeable weather, swollen rivers, snow/ice in winter

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Height Profile

Urchin-2d.jpg

Weather and Webcam Links

External Links

References

101greattramps-cover.jpg 101 Great Tramps in New Zealand, Mark Pickering and Rodney Smith, Reed Publishing NZ Ltd. (2004), See pages 80-82

Weekendnorth-cover.jpg North Island Weekend Tramps (Bird’s Eye Guides), Shaun Barnett. (2008), See pages 77-79

Trampinginnz-cover.jpg Tramping in New Zealand, Shaun Barnett, Craig Potton Publishing (2006). See pages 128-130