Length: from 4.0 up to 5.0 days
Distance: 59.6 km (25.0 DOC hours) - Marked route - Moderate-hard terrain
Altitude: 196m to 1785m. Gain: 4592m. Loss: 5351m . Gradient: 10 deg (Steep)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) - Occasional rivers (3/5)

This trip includes well-trodden track and the infrequently visited. It could be tramped in either direction. It could be turned into a loop by continuing up the Ellis River back to Mt Arthur.

Starting at Flora carpark, there is a visit to Mt Arthur overlooking the tableland and the less-frequented Gordons Pyramid. The large, often crowded, Salisbury Lodge provides shelter and begins the section of this trip that follows the Leslie-Karamea Track.

Wilkinsons Track is well off the main line and offers a remote climb of 1100m. Then a short challenging section to the unfrequented Flanagans Hut and, to finish, a 'stroll' down a very pretty river (good trout fishing, I believe).


Distance: 3.6 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Benched track - Easy terrain
Altitude: 957m to 1293m. Gain: 407m. Loss: 72m . Gradient: 8 deg (Moderate)
Skills:
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

A benched, gravelled track through to Mt Arthur Hut, it took less than an hour with a 5-day pack.

Created by: Bernieq on 2015-06-26. Experienced: 2011-04-21

Distance: 1.9 km (1.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1293m to 1498m. Gain: 227m. Loss: 26m . Gradient: 8 deg (Gentle)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

This is a poled , and obvious, track briefly in bush then very exposed - mostly low tussock and easy travel. The track junction at the end of this segment is clearly marked.

Created by: Bernieq on 2015-06-26. Experienced: 2011-04-22

Distance: 2.5 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1494m to 1785m. Gain: 340m. Loss: 49m . Gradient: 9 deg (Moderate)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Poled through to just below the summit, as the ridge narrows, the terrain becomes more rocky and sidles the north-facing slope. However, the track is well defined and easily followed. The last climb to the rather flat top is steep but not dangerous. At the top, there is a low rock wall providing minimal shelter - good views if the weather is kind.

Created by: Bernieq on 2015-06-26. Experienced: 2011-04-22
Last updated by: Bernieq at 2015-06-27 03:12:36

Distance: 2.5 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1494m to 1785m. Gain: 49m. Loss: 340m . Gradient: 9 deg (Moderate)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the summit, descend following the pole-line, sidling into the saddle. The well-defined track continues descending along the ridge to the marked track junction.

Created by: Bernieq on 2015-06-26. Experienced: 2011-04-22
Last updated by: Bernieq at 2015-06-27 03:12:36

Distance: 3.6 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1275m to 1501m. Gain: 365m. Loss: 400m . Gradient: 12 deg (Moderate)
Skills:
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

Incorrectly shown on maps earlier than Sep 2012, this poled route descends into the basin, negotiates numerous sinkholes (easily done in good visibility) and climbs the other side and through a 400m long flat gully. The poled route veers right and descends then rises to pt 1380. A short steep descent to the obvious saddle and then a long climb to Gordons Pyramid. It's open travel and would be very exposed in bad weather.

The route shown on older maps would be viable but descends an additional 200m.

Created by: Bernieq on 2015-06-26. Experienced: 2011-04-22

Distance: 2.9 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 1109m to 1466m. Gain: 48m. Loss: 378m . Gradient: 8 deg (Moderate)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

Poled across the open grassed ridge, the track is marked where it enters the bush. The descent steepens under the damp beech then pops out onto the tableland, tussock clearings interspersed with forest.

Continuing to the right at a marked junction (left is a longer track to the Lodge via Sphinx Cave), the track joins the Salisbury track a few hundred metres before the Lodge.

Created by: Bernieq on 2015-06-26. Experienced: 2011-04-22
Last updated by: Bernieq at 2015-06-28 00:33:18. Experienced: 2011-04-22

Distance: 11.4 km (5.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 310m to 1253m. Gain: 342m. Loss: 1165m . Gradient: 8 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Streams (2/5)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

From the Lodge, the defined track heads west across the tableland, poled, turning south before the bushline. Once under the trees, the track descends past Splugeons Shelter to a bridged crossing of the Leslie River (3hr). It's a pleasant stroll on the TL of the Leslie River to the Wilkinson Tk turnoff and on to Karamea Bend Hut.

Created by: Bernieq on 2015-06-26. Experienced: 2011-04-23

Distance: 4.9 km (1.3 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 258m to 310m. Gain: 118m. Loss: 168m . Gradient: 3 deg (Flat)
Skills:
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

From the bridge crossing the Wilkinson side creek, the track stays on the TL never far from the river until Karamea Bend Hut

Created by: Bernieq on 2015-06-26. Experienced: 2013-04-23
Last updated by: Bernieq at 2015-06-26 23:59:38

Distance: 4.9 km (1.3 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 258m to 310m. Gain: 168m. Loss: 118m . Gradient: 3 deg (Flat)
Skills:
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

From the hut, the track stays close to the river (on the TL) through to the track junction with the Wilkinson Track.

Created by: Bernieq on 2015-06-26. Experienced: 2013-04-23
Last updated by: Bernieq at 2015-06-26 23:59:38

Distance: 4.7 km (4.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 298m to 1366m. Gain: 1306m. Loss: 245m . Gradient: 20 deg (Steep)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/5)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

The fingerboard at the start has 'track' replaced with 'horror' - unmaintained, this track becomes choked with onga-onga and lawyer vine.

The lower third of the track is beside the creek and crosses several times making for a risky trip if the flow is high. However, the steep track is obvious and frequently benched.

Once having left the creek, the track continues steeply under beech zig-zaging to pt 905 and a brief respite from the ascent. Quickly climbing again, then even more steeply (20deg) the track leaves the bushline for a steep poled climb over tussock and Spaniard grass to the saddle.

Created by: Bernieq on 2015-06-26. Experienced: 2011-04-24

Distance: 2.4 km (1.5 DOC hours) - Marked route - Moderate-hard terrain
Altitude: 936m to 1364m. Gain: 105m. Loss: 533m . Gradient: 15 deg (Moderate-hard)
Skills: - Streams (2/5)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

From the saddle, Wilkinson Hut can be seen at the treeline. The poled route down is perhaps not the best route as it crosses thick Spaniard grass and wet bog.

The descent to the valley floor has no visible track, near vertical in places and slippery - slow progress.

Once on the valley floor, a sizeable bog is negotiated. Within a km of the hut, the track becomes more defined, moving to higher ground on the TR. Wending its way through an attractive fern grove, the track comes back to the river just below the hut - crossing to the TL to access the hut might be difficult in heavy rain.

Created by: Bernieq on 2015-06-26. Experienced: 2011-04-23
Last updated by: Bernieq at 2015-06-26 22:22:08. Experienced: 2011-04-24

Distance: 14.3 km (3.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 196m to 963m. Gain: 1117m. Loss: 1857m . Gradient: 12 deg (Gentle)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/5)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

Initially a well-cut track rises away from the river then descends to the first of many river crossings. From here the track deteriorates, with a few steep, wet and slippery sections. One part of track had crumbled with a sizeable slip.

However, overall, travel is quite good. 12km from hut to the fixed bridge that marks the end of the track and the start of the 4WD track that leads to the trailhead (4km). Ellis River would be difficult to cross in high flow.

Created by: Bernieq on 2015-06-26. Experienced: 2011-04-25

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