Submitted by Sarah Coxon
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Front country - easily accessible
Out and Back
Open farmlandsOpen tussock/grasslands
Monument Track closes for lambing 8 Aug-15 Oct.
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From the carpark, pick up the track markers and head out on grassy single track in the direction of the Monument, a prominent rocky outcrop that sits high above the Purau saddle. After 400m, you’ll pass a stand of large trees and turn right past the sheep yards with the cute Monument Shelter Hut below them.
From here, the track becomes a rough 4WD track and climbs steadily, passing under the Monument as the views over the harbour open up behind you. About 3km in, just after crossing a stile you reach a small saddle with some DOC signage – take the Monument Track (north) to the left. This track more-or-less follows the fenceline through long grass, with thickets of bracken and several small but easily negotiated slips. Be prepared to slow down through this section – its only 1.2km but is pretty rough underfoot, so you’ll be pleased to pop out onto the well-trodden Te Ara Pātaka.
Hang a right and follow your nose, being sure to take the teeny side-trip to bag Little Mt Herbert (913m) on your way past to Mt Herbert (919m). From the top, enjoy the views of Lyttelton Harbour and Pegasus Bay to the north and Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere to the south-west. If you wish, you can follow the track to the west some 900m to the Mt Herbert Shelter, where you’ll find a toilet and water (roof-harvested rainwater that you may wish to filter/treat).
Head back towards Little Mt Herbert, turning left at the Summit Link Track just before you reach the top and descending back to the junction with Monument Track. Stay left, over the stile, and retrace your route back to the carpark.
These trails cross private land and a working farm. Please be considerate of stock (sheep and cattle) and keep to the marked track at all times. Leave any gates as you find them.
Features of interest
The Monument, a prominent rocky outcrop above Purau Saddle.
Make Up of Run
Moderate Single Track: 25%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 75%
Purau Saddle carpark, on the Purau-Port Levy Road.
There are a few spots where you may have to look a little harder for the next post or triangle (eg to distinguish private farm tracks from the main track, or along the scrappier section of the Monument Track before Te Ara Pātaka), but overall the tracks are straightforward to follow.
Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
There is a rainwater tank at Mt Herbert shelter (approx 900m further on from Mt Herbert summit) - consider treating or filtering.
Exposure to wind (especially the higher points of the route). Snow/ice in winter.
There are often cattle on the route near Mt Herbert, please give them space.
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