Mount Fyffe

Ka Whata Tu o Rakihouia Conservation Park

  • 5 hr – 8 hr return by the same track
  • Medium

A steep 4WD track to a hut overlooking Kaikoura Peninsula, and on to the summit, with panoramic views of the Kaikoura Ranges.

Mount Fyffe Hut, mid-winter • By Matthew.
Key information
Walking time
1 – 2 days
5 hr – 8 hr
Distance
15.0km
Type
Return by the same track
Return by the same track
Grade
Medium
Bookings
No bookings — open access
No — open access
Find it
Starts
Road end car park, Postmans Road, Kaikoura
()
Maps
NZTopo50-BT27
Altitude
200m – 1,602m
Altitude change 1,402m

A 4WD track climbs all the way to the summit of Mount Fyffe (1602 metres), making for a wide smooth track of a consistent grade. The trudge up the mountain rewards with excellent views to the southeast of the Kaikoura plains and peninsula, and to the northwest of the Seaward Kaikouras and the deep void to the Kowhai River below.

Seaward Kaikoura Range from Mount Fyffe Hut • By Matthew.

A hut is located two thirds of the way up, so you can break the uphill climb into two sections. The hut is well located, with panoramic views of mountains and sea, but is popular, so consider carrying a tent in summer. In winter there may be snow on the track from around the level of the hut.

From SH1 north of Kaikoura, turn left onto Postmans Road and follow it westward toward the Kowhai River. Follow the signs along a narrow shingle road to the car park at the western foot of Mount Fyffe.

From here, the 4WD track maintains a persistent grade, zigzagging up a spur onto the ridge of the mountain. The track is open to the sun, with only low forest at either side.  Much of the walk is simply a matter of covering ground, or rather, gaining altitude, and there are encouraging altitude markers (and seats!) placed at regular intervals.

The cute Mount Fyffe Hut is located at 1103m. This is a small but modern hut with a toilet, water supply and wood burner. Behind the hut, you can pick out the peaks of the Kaikouras. The sharp point of Snowflake (1870m) is to the left, while the long Snowflake Spur is directly opposite, rising alongside a tributary of the Kowhai River far below. To the right is the flattish top of Mount Saunders (2146m), and far to the right the high peak of Manakau (2608m).

Mount Fyffe Hut • Standard Hut (DOC). Capacity: 8.

Beyond here, the track climbs through low pine and birch forest, apparently planted by DOC to aid land stability. At the summit another seat faces the void to the southeast, with the whale-tail peninsula in the distance. To the northwest, it is 2km across and 1140m down to the Kowhai Hut on the valley floor. There are also good views along the coast as far as the North Island and Banks Peninsula.

Mt Fyffe Summit (Sep 2011) • By lil50. Licence: C.

Walking times:

  • Car park to hut: 2.5 hours
  • Hut to summit: 1.5 hours
  • Summit down to car park: 3 hours

Other options:

  • Spaniard Spur is a steep and rough route leading from the Kowhai River to Mount Fyffe Hut. Kowhai River - Spaniard Spur - Mount Fyffe Track would form a day-long loop.
  • A route leads from the summit over Gable and Gable's End to the Kowhai Saddle. This could form an alternative to the classic Kowhai / Hapuku Rivers route.
Map
ID 360

About this track

Added 9 July 2002 by MatthewMatthew. 3 revisions, most recently 25 February 2014 by MatthewMatthew.
3,468 views in the past year (289 per month).