The Needle 360 Panorama with The Haystack the prominent feature in the centre and Mt Misery on the right.(Scroll right to view full image)The Needle 360 Panorama with The Haystack the prominent feature in the centre and Mt Misery on the right.(Scroll right to view full image)

First trip out with the Nelson Tramping club, a three and a half day trip up onto the Thousand Acre Plateau in the Matiri Range. We left the vehicles at Matiri West Bank roadend and walked in 30c+ temperatues up the valley to Lake Matiri Hut with some of us camping down by the lake. On Saturday we left at 7am, climbed a spur north of the lake onto the Thousand Acre Plateau and continued past Poor Pete's Hut to Larrikin Creeek Hut in blistering hot conditions arriving there at 2pm. Another early start Sunday had us in the welcomed shadow of The Haystack until 8:30 which by then had us climbing a spur up onto the flanks of The Needle. A short climb from there had us up to the top of The Needle with breath taking 360 degree views. We returned to the hut by 11am and snoozed the afternoon away under the welcome shade of the beech trees before returning to Poor Pete's hut at 4:30pm. On Monday we had a 6 hour walk out to the vehicles picking bags of blackberries alongside the Matiri river as we progressed down the 4 wheel drive track. A 40km return trip with an extra 4.5km excursion to climb The Needle.