Place info


(7 routes)

Tapuae-o-Uenuku is the highest point in New Zealand north of the Aoraki Mount Cook region.

  • 2885m



Tapuae-o-Uenuku is the highest point in New Zealand north of the Aoraki Mount Cook region.

O30 649 121
BS27 549 504
Reference Name Grade Quality Length Comments Actions

Up from the Hodder

  Via CLEARANCE VALLEY. Park your 4WD vehicle near fertiliser bins at 640m at an airstrip near Branch Cottage. Head west to a tributary of Branch Stream, follow an old farm track, then ascend a tussock slope with regenerating totara to gain a scree ridge on the true left of Branch Stream. At about 1450m, before the first rocky knobs on ridge, descend a large scree slope to the stream. Alternatively, sidle at about 1300m to the scree slope. Then climb a tussock ridge, heading north-west, and sidle into a good campsite at 1500m (map ref. O30/671108). Follow the gully and couloir at its head onto the south-west ridge, thence the normal Staircase Stream routes to the summit. (NB: don't descend the ridge between central and southern branches of Branch Stream - it ends in steep cliffs, or is guarded by dense scrub).
  Via CLEARANCE VALLEY. From the campsite of Branch Stream route , sidle an easy spur, into another campsite at about 1580m in the next tributary to the north. From a high basin east of the summit climb a steep couloir through bluffs and onto the summit slopes.
  Via CLEARANCE VALLEY. Go upstream through a patch of beech forest and past bluffs to a spur, which leads westwards to the summit slopes of East Ridge route. This spur can also be reached from the Branch Stream routes.
  Via HODDER RV. ‘Tappy’ is mostly rock and scree in summer, when foot trails and occasional cairns mark the route. In winter this route is not technically difficult, but it's still a big climb. From the huts follow the terrace and then across scree to the junction with Staircase Stream. Keep to the true right of Staircase Stream, across terraces, to the waterfall creek. Continue up easy slopes towards the saddle between Alarm and Tapuae-o-Uenuku, then head east, angling left under a rocky peak 2711m and up the south-west ridge to the summit. An alternative is to sidle into a basin above the waterfall and then into the basin north-west of the summit. Climb from the head of the basin to the north ridge, or else directly south-west to the top. Descend the same way, or follow the north ridge and drop down a gully just before Pinnacle (2720m).

Nehemiah McRae, probably 1864.

  Via HODDER RV. The spur is easily gained from the Hodder at a low saddle. Bypass Pinnacle by a traverse (on either side). A long route.
One or more images in route detail.

Start up deep gully in center of the south face. Two pitches to the hanging snowfield then tend up and right towards the head-wall. Break the head-wall via left ice runnel. The runnel was originally simul climbed but may require pitching. Good natural protection can be found. This route tops out directly on the summit.

Steve Fortune and Kieran Parsons, September 2012

Ben Winnubst photo Rob Suisted,
This place appears in: 
100 Peaks
Kaikoura – Kahurangi: a guide for climbers
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