Wangapeka and its dense trails
Our Adventure starts from the east, a couple of hours from Nelson. We’ll use the first day to warm up with a walkover river flats and swing bridges, including some scrambling over old landslide remains. We’ll have lunch at the historic Cecil Kings Hut and continue along the old gold diggers’ track to our accommodation for the night.
The following day, we’ll tackle Wangapeka Saddle at 1,009m. The climb is gradual and we can take our time to spot the blue ducks often seen around here. Day 2 and 3 are relatively short and give us the chance to explore more of the surrounding area, including some stunning side trips.
There is so much to do in the region and nearby peaks like Mt Luna or Mt Patriarch stand inviting in the background. We’ll hike past mature beech forest, river flats (to help refill the water bottles) and cross several creeks before staying in the traditional backcountry huts along the way. It’s worth taking our time and exploring the gorges and streams – the secluded Taipo Valley is a beauty with its dense bush and birdlife chirping in the trees around us – which we’ll spend some time identifying and perhaps recording on behalf of DOC.
Day 4 is a big hike to the highest point of the route, Little Wanganui Saddle at 1,087m. The mountain vistas up here are well worth the climb and we can spend some time admiring the views before heading towards our last accommodation, Belltown Manunui Hut. From here, a descent leads past old debris of earthquakes and cyclones to the car park on the West Coast.
After 5 full-on days, we’ve deserved ourselves a proper lunch and drink at one of the local pubs before heading back to Nelson.
If you want to stay in the West Coast, Bushman Tours can help share some of our favourite accommodations at good rates, let us know after booking.