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3 Passes (extended version) Route, Arthurs Pass, New Zealand
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Andrew Bishop
(copperhead) - MLife

Locale: Down Under
3 Passes Route (extended version), Arthurs Pass, New Zealand on 04/02/2013 00:14:53 MDT Print View

NZ is an awesome place for outdoor adventures. I had the chance to get in a week's walking in February at Arthurs Pass while visiting NZ for my sister's wedding.

While I was born in NZ, I have spent that past 25 years in Australia and was a little unprepared for NZ conditions and the challenges that came up. Enjoy my cautionary tale!

Edited by copperhead on 04/02/2013 20:06:45 MDT.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: 3 Passes Route (extended version), Arthurs Pass, New Zealand on 04/02/2013 07:28:03 MDT Print View

Good stuff. Sounds like an adventure with all the river crossings, etc... The second trip report I've seen mention the rough conditions of NZ.

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
3 Passes Route, Arthurs Pass, New Zealand on 04/02/2013 11:51:58 MDT Print View

Wow! What a classic read!

I've poked around Arthur's Pass for a couple of days about 10 years ago. Really enjoyed the area and always wanted to get back to give the place some more time.

I recall the area being remarkably steep and the rivers much bigger than what I'm typically exposed to here in California. The Arthur's Pass area was my first exposure to the Southern Alps... I found myself a bit intimidated by my first few big river crossings on the South Island and witnessed a friend have a particularly scary experience a bit farther south on one of our hikes later during our trip.

This was an excellent read and demonstrates some of the trials and tribulations a hiker can go through on a trip like this... gear lost, gear broken, navigation errors, running out of time. Glad you got out just in time to call off the SAR folks.

I appreciate that even through all of these mishaps, you were able to enjoy much of the trip, and from the sounds of it, you look back on the journey now quite fondly. I reckon this comes from the satisfaction of having made it through all of the challenges as well as the amazing scenery itself.


Anna T

Locale: Victoria, Australia
Homesick! on 04/02/2013 16:09:03 MDT Print View

I spent part of my childhood near Arthur's Pass - beautiful part of the country. Like you, I'm now in Aussie. Lovely writeup - thanks for making me homesick, though!! :D

Barry Cuthbert
(nzbazza) - MLife

Locale: New Zealand
Re: 3 Passes Route (extended version), Arthurs Pass, New Zealand on 04/02/2013 16:47:43 MDT Print View

Loved your trip report, having done the 3 passes trip a couple of times when I was a student in Christchurch, it brought back a lot of fun memories. Now that I'm living in the North Island, I miss tramping in the South Island as much as I did.

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - MLife

Locale: The SouthWest
Re: 3 Passes Route (extended version), Arthurs Pass, New Zealand on 04/02/2013 22:11:37 MDT Print View

What an adventure! I really enjoyed reading about it. Does all of New Zealand have that many nice huts?

Andrew Bishop
(copperhead) - MLife

Locale: Down Under
Re: Re: 3 Passes Route (extended version), Arthurs Pass, New Zealand on 04/03/2013 00:06:52 MDT Print View

Hi John

Yes, there are a ton of great huts scattered across the NZ back country.

The NZ Dept of Conservation ("DOC") manages 950 back country huts.

There are also many huts that fall outside of DOC's budget and these 'orphan' huts are often maintained on a voluntary basis. For example, in the West Coast province where I did this walk, a local group called Permolat is very active.

I did my walk in a less-frequented area and in the shoulder season, so got to have the huts to myself most of the time. Very nice.