Routeburn Track

The Routeburn Track is one of New Zealand’s nine Great Walks, a set of premier tramping tracks.  Straddling Fiordland National Park and Mt Aspiring National Park, the Routeburn’s highest point is 1300 metres and its lowest point is 477 metres.  There are  rivers, lakes, forests, tussocklands and alpine views  – wild and scenic landscapes in its 32 kilometres.  We set off from the Divide (near the Homer Tunnel on the Milford Road) and completed the track three days later at Glenorchy, at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu.

Day One – the Divide to Lake Mackenzie Lodge (12km)

Heading up to Key Summit, with a view of Mt Christina

Track to Key Summit

Leaving our packs on the track at the turn-off, we took a 30 minute walk up to Key Summit.

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Heathcote Valley from the Bridle Path – what has happened in 135 years?

 

Heathcote Valley from Bridle Path, about 1880 (on the left) and 2015 (on the right).  Click to enlarge

As a pre-Christmas trek,  we walked  the Bridle Path, from the Heathcote Valley over the Port Hills to Lyttelton.  On the way we passed an information board which reminded us of the challenges faced by the early European settlers who arrived in Christchurch in 1850.  The photo on the left, originally from the Canterbury Museum and taken about 1880, appears on the information board.

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Pigeon Bay – visited and revisited

Pigeon Bay is a picturesque bay situated on the northern side of Banks Peninsula.  It is accessed from State Highway 75 via Little River, turning left at Hilltop onto the Summit Road, then left onto Pigeon Bay Road after a few kilometres (77 km altogether from Christchurch). There is an out-and-back track which follows the eastern side of the bay out to the heads. Walking the track takes between four and five hours return.  The track mostly follows a four wheel drive road which crosses farmland.  I have walked the track twice and am posting photos from both of these trips.

First photos are from a trip in December (summer) 2014.

Track starts at the small settlement of Pigeon Bay

Track starts at the small settlement of Pigeon Bay

 

Pigeon Bay jetty

Pigeon Bay jetty

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Bealey Spur in April 2015

The weather was sunny and calm with an expected maximum of 15C as we set off for our autumn walk up Bealey Spur.  There had been an early-season snowfall two days before.  The remnants of this fall were still evident in the areas on the track where the sun had not reached.

Mist still hanging over the xxxx at 10.30am

Mist above the Waimakariri River at 10.30am, the Bealey Valley and mountains of Arthur’s Pass beyond

 

At 11.15am mist is starting to lift, revealing the river

At 11.15am mist is starting to lift, looking east down the Waimakariri River

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