South Island Day Walks (Winter) ?
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Hi All We are currently in the early stages of planning a ski trip to the South Island for late July and are hoping to incorporate a couple of day walks. Is anybody able to suggest any 'must-do' walks that fit the following criteria; * easy/medium difficulty * do-able & safe in winter * excellent glacial or mountain views (i.e. rather than urban or coastal) * approx. 2 - 8 hours duration * not requiring 'technical' equipment or expertise (i.e. beyond appropriate clothing/first aid/standard supplies/'common' sense) * within reasonable driving distance of either the Christchurch or Queenstown areas (although willing to go further afield if warranted). Would the 'Hooker Track' in Mount Cook N.P. fit this criteria??? (Background: Coming from Australia, reasonable level of fitness, previously completed several long day / overnight hikes in Tasmania and in the Blue Mtns NSW). Any recommendations are greatly appreciated. Many thanks in advance. K.
Ben Lomond, a good day walk directly from downtown Queenstown. Trig M on Porters Pass (1 hour from Chch) - snowy but very gentle gradients. You'd want waterproof boots and pants. Whakaari at the end of Lake Wakatipu (by Glenorchy). Old mine roads leading up to snow. If you're passing Mount Cook, there are quite a few good short walks there if the weather is good.
Ben Lomond CAN be ok in winter, the Moke lake side gets a lot of sun so it can be tussock (even in winter) but I know people freak out a bit up there if its icy. Just look up at it from town and if it looks too scary, it will be even scarier when your up there. Best day walk in the area IMHO is the Rob Roy track in Matukituki Valley, Wanaka. Its very easy gradients and the views from the upper valley of the Rob Roy glacier and South face are super impressive. Mt Alfred looks like a good walk too, haven't done this though
Yes, as Matthew said, Whakaari Conservation Area - amazing views and historic huts/information as well.
Yeah, Rob Roy Glacier out of Wanaka. Highly rated on Trip Advisor. Very accessible. http://nzfrenzysouth.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/rob-roy-glacier-overview-1.jpg http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-LH78EMjzsbs/TdIs6_2kSVI/AAAAAAAABKs/wfWhmQP-leg/s1600/DSCF7149%2B%255B1024x768%255D.JPG http://www.travel-explorer.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/rob_roy_glacier.jpg Or, a couple of nights in Mt Cook village. Hooker Track is an excellent day-tripper walk. 3 suspension bridges. Can be a little icy on shady bits. Take a light bag with warm hat, gloves, jacket & drinking water. Honeymoon country !.
from Mt Cook village - a day walk UP to Mueller Hut (beware icy conditions but usually a snow walk)
Mueller Hut is a great outing but in Winter it's an avalanche zone from the tarns up to the saddle so not for the inexperienced methinks. Check with the visitor center beforehand.
True - where there's snow there may be avalanches, and finding out about conditions before you go is always a good idea. For beginners the DOC office is a good place to start.
Met a couple who did a day trip into Magdalen Hut last w/e (Lewis Pass). Nice easy walk with hardly any uphill.
I was on my way there 2 weekends ago but was twarted by a logging truck accident which blocked the Lewis Pass road all day. Others in Lewis pass worth considering would be trips to Cannibal Gorge Hut, Boyle Flat Hut, Nina valley and the classic trip to Lake Daniels. All are about 3 hours from the road end and all have nice huts to stay in (if you needed too). The advantage with the Lewis Pass area is that most rivers and streams are bridged. How about a trip into Ryde falls in the Mt Oxford area. That is a nice little day trip with a waterfall as a focus. It is featured in this months Wilderness magazine, close to Christchurch as well. I would recommend climbing Mt Oxford but that can be challenging at this time of year, there is usually a bit of snow up top.
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