Walking New Zealand
The Grampian Track
for those looking for a little adventure
ous trees. To the West, we looked out over the Waimea Estuary to Rabbit Island, the sandy curve of Tasman Bay, and a snow sprinkled skyline of the Arthur Range. The ridges of the
Bryant and Richmond Ranges were to the East.
Most of the city that surrounds the hill was out of sight. Runners and dog walkers passed us in both directions. It was an easy walk up to the transmission tower.
Our views here were blocked by trees, but by retracing our steps a short way we made our way to a lookout platform with signs interpreting the landforms to the West. They indicated that any appearance of stability is an illusion; in this part of the world, geologically everything
Above: View from the lookout on Grampian Hill, Nelson, west to Waimea estuary, Tasman Bay and Arthur Range,
Below left: View of Ben Nevis from the northern end of the West Highland Way before descending to Fort William at the western end of the Great Glen, Scotland.
is changing fast.
We chose an alternative route back, beginning on the Mamaku Track that made tight zig-zags down through dense treefern forest, eventually emerging on to an old road formation, the Tawa Track that found a relatively level contour along the west side of the hill.
We passed through a large grove of mature radiata pines, then some huge redwoods, before meeting up with the track we had started on. Melrose Cafe was still open so we enjoyed our coffee on the sunny verandah of a stately home built in 1876, surrounded by trees planted in the 1890s.
Our access to the peak had been on the Grampians Walkway. An alternative route, especially on a hot summer day, would have been from the southern entrance to the park using the Kahikatea or Mahoe tracks, through ancient native forest.