Wanganui Catchment

(3 routes)

Type: 
Valley

na

Access: 

About four and a half hours’ drive from Christchurch, the Wanganui Valley leads into the heart of
the Adams Wilderness, with good routes into the Gardens ice plateaus in the south and the Bracken
Snowfield in the north. The valley also offers a wonderful approach for many transalpine trips, such as
those on the Smyth, Lord, and Wilberg Ranges. There are enough facilities to get you started, but after
that adventure is everywhere, and you are very much on your own. Many of the peaks are straightforward
to climb, but getting to them can be sufficient of a challenge in itself. However, places like the
Lord Range also offer harder routes.
Road to Hunters Hut
From SH6 follow a side road on the true right of the Wanganui upstream for 1 km to where a pile of
boulders blocks the road. The public road is partly washed out beyond here. Continue along the cliff
edge to the road again and follow it over a bridge at Amethyst Ravine to the original DOC carpark just
before Canopy Bluff at I34 171780 / BW17 072 164. Follow river boulders up past the quarry, being careful
of rocks from above and quarrying activities. A DOC-maintained track begins here and continues
intermittently as necessary to Hunters Hut. It stays on the true right all the way to the cableway over
the Wanganui. The walk-wire bridge over Hendes Creek has been left high and dry by a stream change,
but the stream is crossable in normal flow. Further up, the track climbs 100 metres over Annoyance
Bluff. At Jones Flat follow a grassy river channel at the south edge of the bush up to markers and the
cableway.
Time : Current carpark to Hunters Hut, 6 hrs.
Upper Wanganui River
The upper Wanganui Valley gives access to the Smyth Range, the Lord Range, Mt Whitcombe, the
Bracken Snowfield and Mt Evans.
Hunters Hut to Smyth Hut
From Hunters Hut a maintained DOC track leads up the true left of the Wanganui to Smyth Hut. The
track is intermittent, and only maintained where travel becomes more difficult. At Poker Bluff there
are two maintained routes, one that requires low river levels and another higher up, sidling across easy
slips. Upstream, another marked sidle leads to long stretches of easy flats with short marked bush sections
as necessary. Keep an eye out as entrances can be easy to miss. The track reenters the bush some
way up Devastation Creek and is well marked through to the hut. Smyth is a well-maintained six-bunk
hut with a stove in a sunny location.
A small marked track leaves the main track about 5 minutes below Smyth Hut and leads down to
the riverbed where there are hot pools in an old channel of the river. They are often well worth a visit.
More useful information in http://remotehuts.co.nz/

NZMS260: 
I34 145 791
Topo50: 
BW17 045 174
Attribution: 
Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint, in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club
This place appears in: 
The Canterbury Westland Alps: a climbing and transalpine guide

Places

Actions
Mountain Mt Tri (1 route)
Mountain Smith Peak (0 routes)
Mountain Avalon Pk (1 route)
Mountain Artemis Pk (1 route)
Pass Angel Col (0 routes)
Valley Adams River (0 routes)
Valley Lord River (0 routes)
Valley Vane Stream (0 routes)
Valley Evans River & Bracken Snowfield (3 routes)
Range Smyth Range (1 route)
Pass Smyth Saddle, Pt1667m (0 routes)
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