|A satisfying view from the top of Mt Patriarch.|
Duration: 6 days
Fitness level: Above average
|Mt Patriarch, viewed from the Luna Ridge.|
Situated in a sheltered position on a high ridge at the southern extremity of the Arthur Range, Kiwi Saddle is a crossroads for routes into more challenging and remote areas of the park.
This strategic location permits us to use Kiwi Saddle as a base for 3 days of exploration carrying only daypacks. The walk includes a scenic river valley, but much of our time is spent on ridges and peaks above the bushline. We will enjoy spectacular views of numerous rugged features in all directions, and may venture to a secluded alpine lake.
|A tarn in the Luna basin; Patriarch in the background.|
Fully serviced option:
Note: As this is a 6-day trip, clients are expected to carry a share of the food, as well as their personal gear.
Self catered option (minimum 4 persons):
4-7 persons, $800 pp
8-10 persons, $750 pp
A 1½-hour scenic drive to the Wangapeka Valley, and an easy walk following Wangapeka Track beside the beautiful Wangapeka River. We leave the main track after 3½ hours and cross Kiwi stream to access the Kiwi Saddle Track. After another half hour we reach our camp site, set in a clearing beside kiwi stream and surrounded by mossy beech forest. Robin, Bellbird and Tomtit are common and there is a possibility of sighting the rare and endangered Blue Duck.
A 4 hour climb on a well graded track takes us to Kiwi Saddle and a 6 bunk hut with stunning views of Mount Luna and Mount Patriarch. We will use the hut, or camp here for the next 4 nights.
Four day trips are possible from our base camp. Each day will depend on weather conditions and the abilities of the individuals in the party. Mt Patriarch and Mt Luna are classic Kahurangi summits achievable with no technical climbing. The views from both are magnificent, as is the wide variety of alpine flora.
Lake Luna is another option. This lake is off track and is situated in a beautiful setting surrounded by alpine rock gardens. Another easy day can be spent visiting Taylor Flat, an open tussock area near the head waters of Taylor Stream. This day includes walking through one of the best examples in the park.of a mixed Dracophyllum traversii and beech forest.
We return to the Rolling River road end via the same route as days 1 and 2.
"Well, here we are again having just finished trip #3 with Bush and Beyond - Kiwi Saddle, Mt Luna, Lake Luna and Mt Patriarch. 21 bird sightings and 5 heard - and not another soul on the track for 5 days. Stunning scenery!"
Mary and Bob Watson - New Zealand
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