13 Rankers Reviews
43 Picton / Marlborough Sounds
This is the viewpoint of the Marlborough Sounds. You can see it all. Even on a map it takes a long time to decipher the intricate labyrinth of waterways and islands. From the summit it is the same. The indented coastline is woven without straight lines. It’s easy to imagine Kupe’s octopus.
This is a fair weather walk.
From Picton follow Queen Charlotte Drive 21 km to Linkwater and turn right into Keneperu Road. Portage is 28.5 km. After 42 km head right along Titirangi Road. Keneperu Saddle and the turnoff to Punga Cove is 5 km further. 10.3 km from the junction with Titirangi Road, at the saddle, the road branches. Left goes to Anakoha, right to Titirangi. The track starts opposite this fork.
The first 30 minutes is not bad going. The track is relatively even and well-formed. When the real ascent starts things get tougher. Although there are orange triangles, they are sporadic. The track is steep, rough and indistinct.
Mount Stokes cops the full brunt of Cook Strait winds and periodic storms ravage the forest. The place can look like a bomb site. As you gain altitude the silver beech becomes more stunted and draped with moss.
All of a sudden the forest ends and with a short steep climb you pop out onto the herbfields of the summit. It’s around 2 ¼ hours from the road.
Continue 10 minutes across the tussock to the weather station at the summit (1203 metres).
Mount Stokes is to all intents and purposes an island. Above the final throws of forest, a mix of silver beech and leatherwood, are two hectares of alpine herbfield and snow tussock. This is the only home for alpine plants in the sounds and displays a curious garden. 14 species of uniquely South Island alpine plants, 6 species of South Island alpine plants whose only representatives in the North Island are in the Tararua Ranges, and 7 further species that occur north and south of the Tararuas, but not in them, live here. This tiny enclave also has its own species. Celmisia macmahonii and a subspecies of Anisotome haastii are thought to live here and nowhere else.
Surprisingly this botanical treasure house was allowed to be ravaged by goats, deer, pigs and stock until the area was fenced in the late 1980s. Other alpine representatives include eyebrights, mountain daisies, gentians and speargrasses.
South Island ▷ Marlborough ▷ Picton / Marlborough Sounds
We were lucky with the weather - cool, sunny and calm. A steep continuous climb on a casual track is how I would describe the walk. We enjoyed views of the Sounds along the way. Once at the top the views were awesome! It took us 1hr 45 mins up and less back down. I would recommend this walk.
We did the track on a cloudy day, so I can't say anything about the view, but the way up was wonderful.
I myself wouldn't rate this track as "hard", but it's fairly steep, so more inexperienced hikers might have some problems.
It took us about 1 3/4 hrs to get to the top and a bit more than a hour to get back down.
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Hard but a good walk. When we did it it was cloudy and we could not see the view.
Was a very nice hike! You have got to have a good level of fitness for it, but the view at the top is amazing. Above the clouds!
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Nice hard walk with great ending 360 degree view. We were lucky because we walked through the clouds this day and much higher which allowed us to enjoy a beautiful sea of clouds on one side and a beautiful shining view on the other side.
A 3 to 5 hour walk with return through a beautiful forest. From the top you have a great view over the Marlborough Sounds. Not many other people.
A must do in the Sounds! Amazing 360 degree views at the top. To do!
It is a very good track, but hard and can be very wet. However, it is worth it! The view is amazing. We slept the night before the track at the Ohauparuparu Bay, to have a break.
Interesting 4 hour return walk through forest, nice view, if there are no clouds.
About 4 hours to walk, maybe a nice view, but when we were at the summit it was cloudy.
Very good track which had to be done.
Around 3 hours UP. Not very easy, and all the time through the bush. Well formed track, but some knee-work with all the rocks and tree-roots ;).
Not the most exciting track, but not bad neither...
UNTILL you are at the top...
I've been in NZ for a year and seen A LOT. And this is one of the most amazing views in the country!
View over the whole sounds, untill the North Island, untill the mountains more south,... Just breathtaking!
I just didn't understand there wasn't anybody else.
Easier 2 hours down.
Walk this track! You won't regret! Promised :).
Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍