Mt Haast Route, Klondyke Spur Track & Alborns Track

Three walks within half an hour drive from Reefton, offering epic scenery and historic mining remains. The first two are in Victoria Conservation Park, which at 180,000ha is New Zealand’s largest conservation park.

Mt Haast is a ~900m climb from the car park to the 1,587m summit. It had been raining heavily for a few days so the track was pretty wet at the start, and immediately started to climb steeply up the mountainside. Few New Zealand backcountry tracks offer switchbacks, they just go straight up!

Once I got to the bush line the views opened up of the valley.

The mountainside became more rocky and the clouds started to gather below.

The route up became even steeper but not too technical or dangerous thankfully.

The views from the summit were worth the effort, followed by a careful descent.

I wasn’t as lucky with the weather a couple of days later heading up the Klondyke Spur Track, which starts pretty much across the road from the Mt Haast car park. I climbed 600m in increasingly heavy rain for no views above the bush line, but the beech forest was colourful in places and it was good exercise.

Alborns Track is only 15 minutes drive from Reefton and is a far easier 2.7km loop track visiting several former coal mines, with their entrances understandably blocked up. They looked pretty uninviting…

There are various pieces of old equipment scattered around.

The most unusual of which was an old Leyland lorry used as a winch for the coal wagons. Not sure how they got it there in the first place though…

Final few photos from the road back to Reefton, with the Paparoa Range in the distance I think.

Author: jontycrane

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