Mount Arthur Tablelands – Kahurangi National Park

22-26 October 2022

After a night in cabins at Quinneys Bush campsite, Motupiko, we set off early for Flora car-park. Geared up for a long day, we headed off to Arthur Hut and on to Mt Arthur. The weather at the summit was cloudy and misty and we had to negotiate a couple of snow patches on the way which added to the challenge. We didn’t get to see as much as we had hoped but still got a sense of achievement having reached the top.

It was off over Gordons Pyramid and on to Salisbury Lodge for the night. There were quite a number of people there when we arrived, so we all decided that tents or under the nearby rock shelter were the best places to sleep. We spent the next morning exploring nearby caves with our very own cave guide, enjoying the tussock grasslands and being careful not to fall down any potholes. The limestone caves were beautiful when lit with torches, with stalagmites and stalactites everywhere. Those who ventured far enough even found cave spiders sitting on egg sacs.

After lunch, back at the lodge, we donned our packs and headed an hour and a half up the track to Balloon Hut. After a brief rest and before they got too settled, four of our more intrepid trampers donned wind-proof jackets and headed out to climb Mt Peel. Sometime later they returned, wind-blown and ready for dinner. We spent a quiet evening in the hut by ourselves.

When the wind blows, it sure can blow. On day three we were blown along Peel Ridge to Peel Lake and on eventually to the bush which gave some respite. Along the tops we got great views all around, back towards the Mt Arthur Range as well as to the Cobb Reservoir. We stayed the night at Upper Gridiron Hut. Tucked up off the track and built into a very large rock, this unusual hut provided great shelter, had an outdoor swing seat and two cheeky weka keen to get any crumbs that we might drop.

The last day dawned grey, and rain started as we headed out towards Flora Hut and back to the car. The shelter provided a dry place to change out of wet gear and get ready for the long drive home. Thanks to my tramping companions for your company and the introduction to a new area. It has piqued my interest as an area to explore further in the future. We were: Angela Grigg (leader), Gary Huish, Bill & Wendy Templeton and Alison Maccoll [AM]

Gary, Angela and Wendy deep in conversation on the summit of Mt Arthur

Lunch-stop near Flora stream. Note the Friends of Flora trap box.