Awatere Tussock Track - Day 2
Tussock and Vegetation
Here are my trip notes and photographs of Day Two on the Awatere Tussock Track (7km, approx 4-6 hours):
It's a satisfying loop trip, climbing up and around the tops and then scuttling back to Cregan Hut. Take water, take care, and enjoy the well-designed track, which always takes the safe route. However, if you're nervous regarding heights, better not to read the entries in the hut book.
After about three hours (or less, if you've got young-man-legs) you'll stand proudly at the highest point, 1200 meters, between Twin Peaks. The views are amazing, though you may wonder what on earth you're doing up there. I didn't...
Slip (ouch) around to Billy Goat Saddle, but don't look up in alarm. You do not have to climb Mount Malvern (in an illogical moment I thought our track went on up there) Instead (phew!) sidle around the rocky northern side of the mountain. After a little time you'll reach Top Hut (a rustic hunting hut) with water and gas to make a hot cup of tea. Be refreshed, comforted, and sheltered, if such are your needs.
The last part of the route leads over tussock slopes down into a gully with a rocky creek. The huge Cregan Bluffs are above you, and maybe that's the best place for them, unless you fancy emulating the wild goats. You may have tired legs by now, but there'll be the hugest smile on your face. And, of course, Cregan Hut is close now. There'll be time for a blissful hot shower before cooking your evening meal. Then you can sit and stare at the blonde tussock, watching the rows of silly merino sheep, having experienced the most brilliant day out.
Awatere Tussock Track - Day Two
The Awatere Tussock Track is a private walking track in Marlborough's high country. Farm owners Simon and Lynda Harvey have opened up their land to be enjoyed by others. It's the best hike I've ever, ever done.
These are the deeply personal ramblings of a fit, adventurous, semi-senior gardener-hiker (me) with slightly dodgy knees and an untiring love of New Zealand's 'Great Outdoors'.