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New Zealand hikesNew Zealand Cobb Valley - Tablelands Route Guide

Cobb Valley - Tablelands Track, in the heart of Kahurangi National Park, offers a remote experience. Linking Flora car park and the Wangapeka Track, it passes through the Cobb Valley - Tablelands - Mt Arthur , following rivers through lush bush, and traversing saddles. Discover Cobb Valley - Tablelands Track, a top destinations for tramping and hiking track adventures - the Cobb Valley- Tablelands Track, Nelson, New Zealand.

Facts
Time 4 - 6 days ( 22 hours)
Distance 38 km One Way
Grade Easy to Medium
Highest Point
1795m,
Huts 6 DOC Huts , 2 Rock Bivies
Maps
 
Balloon Hut Signage
Balloon Hut Signage
Balloon Hut
Balloon Hut
Cobb Valley Track
Cobb Valley Track
 
Cobb Valley - Tablelands Track Route Guide

Cobb Valley - Tablelands track is approximately 28 - 50 km long. It may be walked from either end or in part, beginning at any number of access points (see Access).

Location
Distance
Times
Flora Car Park - Upper Junction Salisbury Lodge
14 km
4 hrs
Salisbury Lodge - Gordon Pyramid Mt Arthur Hut - Flora Car Park
14 km
5 - 6 hrs
Tablelands Signpost to Splugeons Shelter
4 km
1 -2 hrs
Salisbury Lodge to Balloon Hut
4.25km
1.5 hrs
Balloon Hut via Lake Peel to Myttons Hut
9 km
5 hrs
Balloon Hut via Lake Peel to Trilobite Hut
9 km
5.5 hrs
Trilobite Hut to Chaffey Hut
5 km
1.5 hrs
Chaffey Hut to Fenella Hut
7 km
3 hrs

This route guide will describe the entire track in the following seven sections, beginning at Flora Car Park Signpost and ending at Cobb Road :

Travelling times given remain the same whether you walk north-south or the reverse. The total average travelling time for the Cobb Valley - Tablelands Track is 22 hours in fine weather not adverse weather conditions.

 
Salisbury Track Signage
Track Signage
Salisbury Lodge
Salisbury Lodge
Salisbury Open
Salisbury Open
 
 
Flora Car Park - Flora Hut - Tablelands Direct (Salisbury Lodge)
Approx.14 km. Walking time: 3 - 5 hours

Flora Car Park - Tablelands track is the main arterial route to the west in these parts and is a 1.2 m benched and graded track throughout. It was constructed in the 1870s to serve the gold diggings on the Mount Arthur Tablelands and beyond, namely the valleys of the Leslie, Crow and Roaring Lion.

3 km down the track from Flora Hut is Bishop's Pool. Bishop Suter is said to have bathered here whilst on a visit to the Tableland diggings in the 1880s. At 3.75m you cross Horseshoe Creek, and 1.5 km further on are Grid Iron Creek and Grid Iron Shelters. Here giant blocks of rock have tumbled down Flora Valley from the parent formation higher up, and two of these blocks have been made into dry rock camps. Grid Iron Uppper Shelter 4 persons overnight and Grid Iron Lower can take 8. Dry Rock shelters keep dry in the roughest weather.

6 km down from Flora Hut the track divides at what is called the Upper Junction. The track to the left rises on a steady 4 km pull to the Tablelands. In 30 minutes Growler Creek is reached, usually a shady resting place where water gurgles down over mossy rocks, but in flooding rains the Growler lives up to its name as white water cascades down, dancing and seeting in a witches cauldron of sight and sound. There is a wayside shelter here with a couple of bunks to boil up a billy and rest up.

It is 1 hour from Growler to open tussock country of what is called Salisbury' Open. Salisbury Creek meanders dwon through the Open, and a short side side track here leads to a rock shelter, which is well developed from limestone overhang, nicely sheltered from the prevailing south westerlies and lying well to the sun.

Along the main track, beyond Salisbury Creek, 2 chimney mounts indicate the site of Salisbury Hut (1928 - 75) which was a counterpart of Flora Hut, built in a similar style. It was replaced in 1974 by Salisbury Lodge about 1 km further west. Salisbury Lodge commands a very fine view of the western side of the Arthur Range and is ideally suited for use by school, or other groups , or families.

Hut: Grid Iron Rock Shelters: 12 bunks; Growler Shelter, 2 bunks; Dry Rock Shelter 10 bunks; Salisbury lodge 24 bunks, gas burners provide heating & cooking

 
Splugeons Shelter View
Splugeons Shelter View
Splugeons Track View
Splugeons Track View
Tablelands Sign
Tablelands Sign
 
Tablelands Signpost to Splugeons Shelter
Approx. 4 km. Walking time: 1 -2 hours

From the sign a line of poles runs to the bush edge at the top of the Leslie hill and begins descending to the Leslie River. About 1 hour downhill Splugeons Rock Shelter is reached

Huts: Splugeons Shelter: 8 bunks, open fire.

 
 
Arthur Range
Arthur Range
Gordons Pyramid Salisbury Lodge
Gordons Pyramid
Tablelands Track
Tablelands
Salisbury Lodge - Balloon Hut
Approx. 4.25 km Walking time: 1.5 hours
Balloon Hut is 4.25km or about 1.5 hours by the direct track from Salisbury Lodge to Balloon Hut. Balloon Hut, built in 1963, has 14 bunks and a gas heater. An alternative route back to Salisbury Lodge is to follow Balloon Creek down for 2 or 3 km. Signs of old diggings will be found all down the creek. The climb back up to Starvation Ridge should be made in the vicinity of Comiskey Creek, the last side creek before the valley closes in a bit further down. Allow 3 hours hut to hut via Balloon Creek
Huts: Balloon Hut 14 bunks, gas burners provide heating & cooking
 
Balloon Hut
Balloon Hut
Balloon Hut Track
Balloon Track
Balloon Track
Balloon Track
 
Balloon Track via Lake Peel to Myttons Hut /Trilobite Hut
Approx. 9 km. Return Walking time: 5- 5.5 hours

From the Mytton Carpark, near the head of the Cobb Reservoir, the Balloon Track leads up to the herbfields of Peel Ridge and on to Balloon Hut ( 14 bunks), amid the expanse of the Mt Arthur Tablelands. For the first 10 minutes to Myttons Hut the track is part of the Myttons Nature walk. Behind the hut take the left fork and follow the well-graded track that zigzags up through beech forest to the open tops. Prominent among the tussock and flax between the bushline and the ridge are spiky speargrasss and large clumps of the attractive Dall's daisy.

Snow poles indicate the route above the bushline, up onto Peel Ridge and then sidling left to Lake Peel, which is an old cirque. From Peel Ridge there is a great view of the Cobb Reservoir and over the Tablelands to the Arthur Range. The route from Lake Peel continues to sidle south onto rounded spur that slopes gently down to Balloon Hut.

Huts: Balloon Hut 14 bunks, gas burners provide heating & cooking ;Trilobite Hut 14 bunk; Mytton Hut 4 bunks - no gas heating or stove

 
Lake Peel Day Hiker
Lake Peel Day Hiker
Cobb Valley Track
Cobb Reservoir
Cobb Valley Track
Trilobite Hut
 
Trilobite Hut to Chaffey Hut
Approx. 5km. Walking time: 1.5 hours

A well defined walking track leads from the roadend at Trilobite Hut (14 bunks) to Chaffey Hut (3) bunks. This beech slab hut was built in the early 1950s by the first Cobb Valley ranger, Jack Mc Burney.

Hut: Chaffey Hut (3 bunks)

 
Cobb Valley Track
Cobb Valley Track
Fenella Track Bog
Fenella Track Bog
Early Morning Cobb Valley
Early Morning Cobb Valley
 
Chaffey Hut to Fenella Hut
Approx. 7km. Walking time: 3 hours

From Chaffey Hut the tramping / hiking track continues up the valley floor. It takes about 2 hours to get to Cobb Hut (4 Bunks) where a short walk will take you to Cobb Lake and Round Lake above it. These lakes provided water for the earlier hydro electric development.

Beyond Cobb Hut the track climbs for about 1 hour up a series of glacier worn rocky steps to Fenella Hut ( 20 bunks). It was built as a memorial to Fenella Druce, who was killed in 1977 when the Three Johns Hut was blown over a bluff in Mount Cook National Park.

Hut: Fenella Hut (20 bunks)

 
Fenella Hut
Fenella Hut
Lake Cobb Hut
Lake Cobb Hut
Lake Cobb
Lake Cobb
 
 
Related

 

 

Further Information

DOC Nelson Regional Visitor Centre
Millers Acre Centre, Taha o te awa
79 Trafalgar Street
P O Box 375
Nelson
Phone +64 3 546 9339
Email: nelsonvc@doc.govt.nz

Web: www.doc.govt.nz

 

 
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