Hope Kiwi HalfIntermediate
Submitted by Tony Sharpe
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Back country - remote
Out and Back
Undulating, small hills only
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This is a nice in and out forest/ riverflats run that will bag you a half marathon and still give you time for a soak in the pools at Hanmer Springs should you desire. A very pleasant immersion into the less rugged part of the Southern Alps
Park up by the shelter - note cars do occasionally get broken into here, so don't leave anything valuable if overnighting at the hut or heading further up valley.
Hop the stile by the sign and follow the 4WD trail to the Amuri School Camp area. Follow the signposts down towards the river where you will be greeted with a massive swing bridge across the Boyle. Head on over this and steadily ascend up the farm boundary to the bush clad terraces above. Don't take a wrong turn onto the Tui Trail or else you will end up in the Doubtful Valley, and without a Hope of going the right way today. The Tui trail is in fact part of the Te Araroa link through from Boyle Village.
So head on up into the Hope Valley proper and soon you'll hit pristine beech forest. There are several areas as you head up valley where the red beech is just so massive that you'll want to stop and look around. When you do keep an eye out for the prolific birdlife, especially the ever curious South Island robins, fantails and bellbirds, among others.
The trail to Halfway Hope Hut involves a few small lumps and bumps, and some small river tributaries where you can drink some of the most refreshing water in the world. When we did it the trail was super dry, but in winter or wet conditions expect mud and slippery tree roots at times.
About half way in you'll hit a small open terrace with sweeping views of the mid section of the Hope. Be sure to look across and spot the historic Museum Hut on the far bank from here. Eventually further up the trail emerges into grassy flats where you may encounter some livestock. Carry on and you'll suddenly arrive at Half Way Hope Hut, pretty basic bunks and bench shelter and a bit flystruck, but it is a great spot to overnight if you want and not really so bad. It's really grown in its use since the Te Araroa trail got popular.
From here either retrace your steps for almost exactly a half marathon distance, or if you want extra for experts its about another 7km upvalley to the more modern and serviced Hope Kiwi Hut - a better option for overnighting.
Either way, be sure to snap a selfie on the swing bridge on the way out to show us your Wild Side spirit!
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Features of interest
Lots of bird life
Part of the Te Araroa Trail
Views of the Hope Valley
Hope Halfway Hut
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 30%
Moderate Single Track: 50%
Easy Single Track: 10%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 10%
Windy Point Car Park adjacent to SH7, northern entrance to Lake Sumner Forest Park
Park by the shelter a couple of hundred metres from the signposted turn off
Trail is well marked, but do tell someone where you are going and pack decent wet/ warm backup gear
Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map.
There are several small streams in the beech forest, but do avoid drinking out of the riverflats near the stocked areas
Can be anything up here, in any season. You are above 600m here even in the valley floor
Mud and slippery tree roots in the wet are the main issue.
Weather can be great or dire or anywhere in between- it is the mountains!
Post run indulgence
Anything in Hamner Springs, half an hour or so's drive
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See other runs nearby:
Fowlers Pass - St James
Mt Isobel Long Loop
Hanmer 10km loop
Izzy Stradlin CCW
The James Hundy Epic
Easy Rider & Conical Hill
Hanmer Old Forest Loop
St James Walkway
Doubtful Lake Man with Hope
A Tale of Two Peters
Nina Valley SH7 to Swingbridge
Doubting the Devil