Mt Somers is a historic and beautiful landscape that changes dramatically as we move through it. From sub alpine to alpine terrain, into native beech forests. There is something to capture the imagination of all keen hikers in this area.
Pick-up 8am from your accommodation in Christchurch or our meeting spot outside the Canterbury Museum on Rolleston Ave. Leaving Christchurch we drive south to Rakaia before heading west towards to Mt Somers and the Southern Alps. Along the way we pass through the Canterbury Plains, the largest expanse of flat agricultural land in New Zealand before passing through the tiny settlement of Mt Somers. After just 2 hours we reach the car park at Woodshed Creek, our hike starts from here.
The 2-3 hour hike into Woolshed Creek Hut starts by following a well-marked track through native bush along the river before a short steep climb up to the remains of the abandoned black burn coal mine (historic site). 1-2 hours of relaxed walking through open tussock grasslands and stunning scenery will see us settling into some lunch at Woolshed Creek Hut.
Woolshed Creek Hut to Pinnacles Hut
Leaving Woolshed Creek Hut we walk over a small hill and across Morgan stream before steadily gaining height. We walk through the open tussock landscape bypassing large rocky outcrops until we gain the saddle. From the saddle we look over the Canterbury Plains to the east and over the endless mountains to the west. Descending from the saddle we gradually drop into Pinnacles Hut.
We spend the night at Pinnacles Hut.
Pinnacles Hut to Sharplin Falls Carpark
Our walk today takes us from the open sub-alpine tussock grasslands around Pinnacles Hut into dense native bush. After a steep descent, we follow along the bank of Sharplin river, sometime is spent in the native bush and some time along the river edge. Walking under a waterfall and over a swingbridge takes us to lush fern groves and beautiful native bush. A steep climb up to Dukes knob affords a scenic viewing point before descending through mixed native forest and fern groves down to our end point at Sharplin Falls Carpark.