The walk up Mt Owen is a fantastic and somewhat exotic tramp in the south of Kahurangi National Park. The tramp would be best covered in 3 days, allowing an entire day exploring the complex limestone formations with Granity Pass Hut as a base.
The access is via the Wangapeka River Road and the carpark lies maybe 10km down the road after the start of the Wangapeka Track.
The first day consists in climbig up to Granity Pass, either by the Blue Creek Track or the ridge walk.
The climb is quite steep through open forest for approximately 2 hours till you reach a clearing overlooking west. There's a fantastic echo there, and of course nice views. You keep on climbing for a little while until you reach the staircase that you walk down. The track then enters spectacularly unusual vegetation and you'll soon be walking in the bed of a most-of-the-time dry creek.
Th track then turns at you right and you'll soon see the Hut, surrounded by the mountain walls.
it's a nice six bunk hut with matresses and a few pots and pans. There's a stove as well but the wood supply is scarce. There's also a nice campsite near some tarns about 45 minutes up the track.
The next day the tracks becomes a route even though you'll see a track leading through to the feet of the mountain; then, the route is cairned. It should take about 2-3 hours walking up the summit of Mt Owen.
From the hut you first gently climb up a ridge till you face, 45 min later, Mt Owen, with a tussock flat area dotted with tarns before it. It's amazing here and soon you'll be climbing up through the nooks, crevices and overhanging rocks to the summit. It's not that hard but be careful of loose rocks and especially the holes that the limestone has formed.
There is a strange atmosphere scrambling up this face, it feels a bit lunar and the complex features excite the natural and childish urge for exploration, back to the young days of yore! On the top you can see the ranges of Nelson Lakes National Park and many others. You can see straight through to the ocean in the north as well, with the immense Kahurangi National Park in between.