Hike/tramp south island suggestions
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Hello we are a hiking/tramping couple living on the north island. We will go down to south island the 2th of february. We are doing the abel-tasman however afther that we have nothing else planned yet. We would like some suggestions for multiday hikes/tramps. We would like to do alternative hikes to the great walks. We are quite fit and are keen for a challenge Our experience: Some mountain trails in poland Mt ngauruhoe Tongariro crossing whirinaki Kaweka ranges Tarahua ranges Manuoha track Thanks!!
Options abound! The Top of the South has many places to explore. Kahurangi NP, Nelson Lakes NP, and Mt. Richmond FP all have options for multi-day adventures. Leslie-Karamea Track in Kahurangi NP is a great tramp primarily following river valleys, but options exist to include tops travel. For the more adventurous, the Douglas Range has great options. Despite its increased popularity and Te Araroa passing through the Travers and upper Sabine, Nelson Lakes is still a favourite of mine. Cupola Hut and environs alone are worth it. Mt. Richmond FP used to be an unknown gem with a great track and hut network. Now that TA passes through it, you're likely to find a bevy of international visitors. I always look forward to coming to a hut overflowing with TA walkers, most are lovely but some make you want to avoid TA tracks and huts at all costs! "Yeees, you zee I am an ultra-light hiker and I'm terribly smug about it. Now, do you have some fuel I can borrow? And maybe a stove? ...and maybe some food? You zee I am ultra-light. Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to bathe in ze river with lots and lots of bubbly soap and then relieve myself, ultra-light style!"
I think Mt Owen is definitely worth a visit. And one lake where all superlatives are true is the Blue Lake: you can either do a full Travers - Sabine, or watertaxi to Sabine hut, then to the Blue Lake and back. If you want a challenge: Cedric Track from Sabine hut to Angelus hut. I'm not aware of a bigger and steeper ascend, but no doubt the members here will have some, but a 1400 metre ascend is pretty out there.
Just come back from leading a trip in Mt Richmond and it made me remember why I love it so much in there. As noted, unfortunately the TA passes thru part of it but theres still plenty of unspoiled sections available to enjoy. The tops are easily accessed and wide-open. Accessing water on them can however be problematic - Mt Rintoul hut is apparently currently dry (no tank water), and that fact changed our original plans. Lovely place!
The Cedric route trip we did in late November was the single most scenic day of tramping I’ve ever experienced. Yes it was tough and seemingly endless through the bush but once above the views were amazing. Angelus basin was a picture with the dark green lake and white snow patches.
As a loop trip you could add in Moss Pass to Blue Lake, over Travers Saddle to Hopeless hut, then to Angelus hut via Sunset Saddle. Would want some good weather for that though, lots of steep up and down hill. Could take over a week depending on your speed though.
the trip phil21 describes Is the route I took last Feb-March. It took us 8 days in rainy weather (not much wind except on Robert Ridge), but if you are young and fit you should be able to do it in less.
The others have already covered Nelson Lakes really well so I will just say it is well worth the visit. Sunset Saddle, Hopeless Hut, Cupola, Blue Lake are all amazing and I think walking up the Travers Valley is as quintisential South Island tramping as you can get. If you want somewhere more isolated you could look at the Leatham or Branch Valleys which are slightly further north.
Thank you verry much for all the suggestions! We are considering to go further south after. Any suggestions around wanaka/queenstown? We are thinking about the rees-dart track and as side trip Cascade saddle.
The Rees Dart has changed alot over the last 15 yrs. It is virtually a great walk now. Foot bridges, big huts, flush toilets etc. You perhaps need to take the next step and do something that needs a little navigation and has less people. If you go up the Rees to Rees saddle, turn upstream on Snowy Ck, ascend to the gap above Pine Ck, traverse over to the ridge above Lochnagar, descend to Lochnagar, further to the Shotover, turn upstream to Tummel burn hut. Go over Shotover saddle and down to the West Matukituki. Another suggestion would be start at Routeburn shelter, ascend to Sugarloaf Pass, down to the Rockburn, upstream to Park Pass, over to Lake Nerine, around to North Col, descend to the Routeburn. While you're in Otago, go up to Makarora, visit Brewster glacier. I trust you could get a copy of Moirs guide north.
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