Greenstone -- Steele Creek -- Caples   

For competent trampers, this is a good alternative to the more popular walks at the head of Lake Wakatipu (two or three days).



Time Total Refs Comments
a Greenstone car park 0 0
1.5 hrs drive from Queenstown; 3 fords
b To Greenstone hut 3 3 MN p.28 good track
c To Steele creek 1.5 4.5 MN p.28 good track
d To flat above bivvy hut in Steele creek 2 6.5 MN p.29 minimal track; well marked
e To saddle 3.5 10 MN p.29 minimal track; well marked
f To upper Caples hut 2.5 12.5 MN p.29 track steep at top
g To Greenstone car park 5 17.5 MN p30 good track
MN = Moir's Guide North (available from DOC). Topo E41 Queenstown.
Blue text and thumbnails are links

Photos

Click on a thumbnail to view a larger version.
NZ1201 NZ1202 NZ1205 NZ1207 NZ1208
Greenstone Greenstone Greenstone Steele Creek Steele Creek
NZ1210 NZ1211 NZ1212 NZ1215 NZ1216
Steele Creek Steele Creek Steele Creek Steele Creek Steele Creek

Notes

(a) The road from Kinloch to the Greenstone car park is rough and has three fords, but it is usually passable by cars.
(b,c) The track up the Greenstone is wide and well-maintained, initially through beech forest, and then on open tussock.
(d,e,f) The track up Steele creek is a bit neglected (some tree falls; overgrown in places, especially above the bush), but it is well-marked and generally makes for pleasant walking. It starts at a sign about 50m west of the bridge across the creek. After climbing a small spur, it travels through bush to the bivvy hut (not recommended for anything but emergency shelter). From the hut, descend to the creek, and follow up flats (good camping) and then the rocky river bank. When these disappear, pick up the marked track through bush to the west branch of Steele creek (small campsite here). Cross the west branch (may be difficult after heavy rain) and follow the marked track to the saddle (possible campsites above the bush and on the saddle). From the saddle follow pylons on a fairly steep traverse (may be difficult in snow), and then follow down a good track the Caples. In normal conditions, competent trampers will find this an easy route.
(g) The track down the Caples is wide and well-maintained.

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