Edwards - Tarn Col - Hawdon
Please Note: As a result of the work now underway the old Mingha Car Park and the old access track across the railway line to the Mingha and Edwards Valley has been closed off. A new temporary car park is being developed at the shingle pit area near the Bealey Rail Bridge. The new car park is off the main highway by the rail bridge. From the car park there will be a marked walking track across the railway line immediately adjacent to the rail bridge on to the causeway and then up the causeway to connect with the old track. Please be aware there is construction crews working in the same area as the new car park.
NOTE : The new Hawdon Hut is located about 1km further upstream from the old Hawdon Hut site, just above the junction of Discovery Stream.
TIME : 3 days, Highway 73 - Edward's Hut (4 hours), Edward's Hut - Hawdon Hut Site (6-8 hours), Hawdon Hut Site - Hawdon Shelter (2-3 hours).
FEATURES : Alpine tops, alpine lakes, beech forest, spectacular geology
MAP : NZTopo50: Otira BV20, Cass BV21 (NZMS260: Otira K33)
ROUTE GUIDES : 8. Tarn Col
HOW HARD IS IT?
Most of this route does not have markers or a formed track. A map and route guide are essential. You must be competent at map reading and navigation and have had previous tramping experience following unmarked routes. Finding the route from Taruahuna Pass onto Tarn Col normally poses the greatest problems to trampers, though part of the route was pole-marked in 2008 from the centre of Taruahuna Pass (The visitor centre can show you a photograph of the ascent route!).
The Edwards and Hawdon Rivers rise very quickly after rain. Always be prepared to spend an extra day or two waiting for the river levels to drop.
Because much of this track is above the bush-line and exposed to rain and wind you should be aware of the conditions and signs of hypothermia.
HOW DO I GET THERE?
The trailheads are 5km and 25km east of Arthur's Pass. Walk, Pvt Car or Hitch.
IMPORTANT ROUTE INFO...
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1) Edwards Hut to Williams Saddle (Hard Day return trip). Bash, push your way up the scrub covered slopes from the hut until rock & grass slopes are followed to the saddle - Great views!
2) Otehake Hut - continue down over Tarahuna Pass into the Otehake River. This is wild country side, tracks tend to a little difficult to find but OK once on. Extremely difficult/dangerous tramping beyond hut, return same route to Tarahuna Pass.
3) Lake Mavis - (Hard tramping) Summer only. Required to carry tent. Climb very steep ground towards north ridge of Mt Oates from Tarahuna Pass, crossing at easier low section to descend to Lake Mavis, return same or follow route to Goat Pass Hut.
4) Woolshed Hill - very steep climb onto Woolshed Hill from Hawdon Shelter (Moderate Day return trip). Take lots of water. Great views.
Edwards Hut (16 bunks)
Hawdon Hut (16 bunks)
So you have an enjoyable and safe time during your visit to Arthur's Pass National Park follow these 5 simple rules...
1. PLAN YOUR TRIP
Seek local knowledge and plan the route you will take and the amount of time you can reasonably expect it to take.
2. TELL SOMEONE
Tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. Visit the AdventureSmart Website to file an intentions form with someone you trust!
3. BE AWARE OF THE WEATHER
New Zealand's weather can be highly unpredictable. Check the forecast and expect weather changes. Check out the Arthur's Pass Weather Forecast here.
4. KNOW YOUR LIMITS
Challenge yourself within your physical limits and experience. Learn safe ways of rescuing others without putting yourself in danger.
5. TAKE SUFFICIENT SUPPLIES
Make sure you have enough food, clothing, equipment and emergency rations for the worst-case scenario. Take an appropriate means of communication.
For more information, visit www.adventuresmart.org.nz/land-adventures