Hope Range, Kahurangi National Park20230206 Mt Hope

Monday 6 February 2023

A second long weekend in a row with heavy rain forecast, and we had to cancel another multi-day tramp! The big front came through on Sunday, so we took our chances for a day trip up the Hope Range on Monday, with good hopes that the front would have passed through by then.

Parking at the Boulder Creek at SH6 is limited and we had to drive quite a bit further along the windy road to find a safe place to turn around.

We had left Sunny Nelson and by now it was drizzling again. Luckily the first part of the track is in beech forest, nicely sheltered from rain or wind.

The track starts on the true right side of the creek, with a short section through grass & blackberry scrub before entering the forest. Once on the track, it is now very well marked with orange markers, although it is not an official DOC track. After a short warm-up the track climbs steeply. Rain jackets on or off?? We had a short morning tea break beside the track while it was still drizzling.

The track became a less steep and soon the vegetation changed and we came out of the bush line. At a flattish area there is a clear left turn indicated by an orange marker that leads to Mount Hope and interesting rock outcrops beyond. This would probably have been another hour climbing. There was the odd blue patch in the sky but Mount Hope was covered in dark clouds and a cold wind had picked up.

After a bit of humming and hawing we decided to turn right instead, aiming for the rocky landscape we saw.  The granite rocks on the Hope Range have eroded into quirky formations that are fun to explore. We found a sheltered spot behind a large rock formation where we had an early lunch. The estimated temperature with wind chill was 12 degrees and many of us got the beanies out!

We returned the same way and were back at the cars before 2.30pm. A shorter but still a good day out. Several group members didn’t know about the track and are now keen to come back another time to do the big day out!

Total time: 6hrs, walking time 4hr15, distance 9.5km

Check out the video that Pete made: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WkNcw7vqo4

Those on the trip: Robert, Di, Pete, Jo G, Eric, Esther (scribe & leader) and visitors Anna, Ghianne, Kelly and Penny.