Arthur & GordonsIntermediate
Submitted by Mal Law
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Back country - remote
Native bushOpen tussock/grasslandsOpen ridges/tops
A classic circuit in eastern Kahurangi National Park, taking in two summits - Mt. Arthur and Gordons Pyramid.
From Flora car park follow the track to Flora Saddle where a well-graded track turns left and follows the ridge towards Mt Arthur, winding through beech forest and groves of candelabra-like mountain neinei (Dracophyllum or 'Dr Zeuss plant!) Mt Arthur Hut is just on the tree line.
Beyond here you are on open ridges, some parts of which have a lot of loose rock on. The views are superb and from the summit on a clear day it's possible to see Mt. Taranaki!
Start retracing your steps downhill and about 2k later (at around 1500m altitude) hang a left to follow the poled route to Gordons Pyramid. There's an obvious enough trail, quite technical in places and a final steep grunt to your second summit of the day.
Head NE off the summit of Gordons followed the poled route towards Cloustons Mine, which you'll come across shortly after re-entering the bush.
The trail continues gently downhill to join the trail alongside Flora Stream. Most of your final 5k are a gentle uphill, runnable if you have the energy. Along the way you pass historic Flora Hut, which is well worth a nosey.
Features of interest
The awesome groves of dracophyllum that you pass through on the way to Mt Arthur Hut & the sensational views from both summits.
Historic Cloustons Mine on the descent from Gordons Pyramid
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 20%
Technical Single Track: 30%
Moderate Single Track: 20%
Easy Single Track: 30%
The following trails overlap with this run to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate Strava activity for each
Flora Saddle. From Motueka head south on the Motueka Valley Highway and cross the river at Ngatimoti. At the next junction turn left on Motueka River West Bank Road and follow this until it turns into Graham Valley Rd. After about 3k bear left (signposted Flora Saddle/Mt. Arthur) and travel uphill to the DoC car park at the road end. The last bit of this access is steep gravel road - it can be travelled in a 2WD but 4WD is preferable, especially if wet.
Plenty of parking, toilet and information board/shelter at the DoC car park
Finding the way is easy enough in good weather but with poor visibility you will need to remain alert on the tops. Take care not to miss the poled route that leads off to your left on the way down from Mt. Arthur towards Gordons Pyramid.
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, Survival bag, Cellphone, Compass, Map, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions).
Available at Mt Arthur Hut, Gridiron Creek (just below Cloustons Mine) and Flora Stream. You're a fair while on the tops without any water so make sure you leave Mt Arthur hut with plenty.
This is a great winter route for those with the experience to handle it - be aware of avalanche risk, particularly towards the summit. For others it's best to treat as a summer-only route.
Care is required around the many bluffs, sinkholes and caves.
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