From Lake Fraser outlet to West Cape via Newton River valley
Distance: 7.9 km (4.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate-hard terrain
Altitude: -56m to 191m. Gain: 1007m. Loss: 918m . Gradient: 14 deg (Gentle)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

From Lake Fraser, angle WSW across marshy, scrubby, windfallen flats and into the valley south of pt166 where travel improves. Angle to the south side of the valley and climb onto the low ridgeline to its south over a series of unnumbered highpoints. There are excellent deer trails and good travel.

Follow the ridgeline as it descends SW to hit the Newton River where it exits its gorge 2km from the sea.

I rafted the river down to the sea from here, but travel down the south bank would be possible until gravel rapids are reached after about 1km where crossing is possible (it is also possible to cross at the high tide point in the estuary).

There are opportunities for safe dry sandfly-rich camping on either bank near the point the river becomes tidal - though some fern clearance may be required.

To reach West Cape at low tide (+/- 3 hrs), follow the beach down the northern river bank into the small bay 500m from the cape where the shoreline bluffs out. A scrubby scramble on deer trails takes you up onto the plateau to the north of the estuary.

The flat lands north of the estuary are a series on rocky hummocks and valleys, all covered in 2-4m high scrub. There is no clear ground as shown on the maps. Angle NW to the cape, weaving through the valleys and avoiding the scrubby summits.

There are a couple of small freshwater pools at the cape, and camping would be easy enough back in the tall scrub.

3-4hrs Lake to Cape

Heli-landing at the cape itself would be difficult, though the next point 200m north looks to have enough clear ground to put down. However, back in the Newton River estuary the gravel bar is flat and accessible 1.5 hrs either side of low tide, and the gravel beaches on the northern bank can take a helicopter at all but high tide +/- 1 hr. Boats do pull into the estuary on occasion, so a boat pickup/dropoff would be possible with a dinghy or packraft to take you to shore.

Last updated by: Madpom at 2021-01-16 16:20:34. Experienced: 2021-01-01
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