Hosts: Marita & Warren Jowett|
Length of stay: Three or four days
Number of guests: Maximum group size 6 persons
Cost in NZ$: $250 per person, minimum 2 ( $350 if includes Day 4 guided nature tour) We provide:
This popular hike passes through three distinctive environments - mountain beech forest, snow tussock and subalpine scrub. There is no other track in Canterbury as accessible which offers the tramper such a variety of vegetation, wildlife and scenery. The track can be walked in one day (takes 8 to 10 hours) but is normally completed in two. A moderate to good level of fitness is required.
Day 2: Travel to Woolshed Creek the southern end of the Walkway. Tramp to Mt Somers Hut, lunch, Tri Falls track, Hydroslide Stream, water caves, time for a sauna before tea. Stay night in Mt Somers Hut.
Day 3: Tramp over saddle to Pinnacles Hut for lunch stop. Tramp down Bowyers Stream, up and over Duke Knob to Sharplin Falls car park. Pick up and drive to Mountain Beech lodge for dinner. Astronomy (weather dependent). Return to Christchurch by 10.30am next day.
Day 4 (optional): Guided nature tour to Lake Heron wildlife refuge and nature reserve, Maori Lakes, Lakes Emma and Camp, Lake Clearwater wildlife refuge, lost world of Erewhon. Lunch at historic Mt Potts Station. Return to Christchurch by 6.30pm.
Clothing and equipment: Sleeping bags, tramping boots, food and adequate clothing (warm and waterproof) for all weathers is required. Small tramping stoves for food preparation in the Mt Somers Hut must be carried. The Walkway climbs from 400 to 1100 metres and is exposed for much of the track. Snow can be experienced at any time of the year at these altitudes on Mt Somers and trampers must be prepared for this.
Food: Food is available for purchase at stores near each end of the Walkway (Mt Somers Store and Staveley Store). Milk, bread, tinned and dehydrated food, drinks, etc are available.
Location: The Mount Somers Walkway is a 17 km long 10 hour tramp in the Mt Somers Conservation Area in the Foothills of Mid Canterbury. It is a point-to-point track between Woolshed Creek on the Ashburton Gorge (southern) side of Mt Somers and Staveley on the northern side.
Facilities and Services: The villages of Mt Somers and Staveley are near either end of the Walkway. Mt Somers is 8 km from the southern end whilst Staveley is 2 km from the carpark at the northern end. Mt Somers village has a wide variety of services - general store, NZ Post agency, petrol, garage, camping ground, holiday park, hotel, motel and restaurant. Staveley village has a general store, bed and breakfast, homestay and farmstay accommodation.
Safety: The Mt Somers Walkway route ranges from 400 to nearly 1200 metres altitude. It traverses country which experiences highly variable and sometimes extreme weather conditions. Snow can fall at any time of the year on the higher parts of the Walkway and make tramping very difficult. Seek local knowledge, go prepared for all conditions
Fitness level: The Walkway is a combination of a tramping track and a marked route (reference national track classification system - see Department of Conservation brochure Mount Somers Conservation Area). The track descriptor and fitness levels described for these two track types should be taken note of:
Environmental Care: Trampers on the Mt Somers Walkway should always follow the New Zealand Environmental Care Code.
Huts and Shelters: There are two huts on the Walkway. The Mt Somers Hut (owned by the Mt Somers Walkway Society) sleeps 14. The Pinnacles Hut (owned by Department of Conservation) sleeps 19. There are also toilet facilities and running water at the car parks at each end of the Walkway. The car park at the Woolshed Creek end of the Walkway, called Coal Miners Flat, is also a camping and picnicing area.
Hut tickets can be purchased from the Mt Somers and Staveley stores as well as the Department of Conservation. The huts are for everyone’s use providing hut tickets are used. The nominal fee for hut tickets is used to help towards the cost of maintenance of hut and track facilities. The Mount Somers Walkway Society tries to provide a wood supply for the Mt Somers Hut. However trampers must not always expect there to be firewood provided and must be self-sufficient in terms of their food preparation.
The Department of Conservation and the Mt Somers Walkway Society are interested in maintaining the huts to a good standard and ensuring they retain a convivial atmosphere. To this end they encourage adherence to the following set of ethics and guidelines.
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