The 76km chopper flight from Makarora provided us with some fabulous views over terrain travelled thru on previous trips. This ten day hike had its challenges, 60 hours in our tents waiting for the rain to stop tested everyone. Luckily every now and then we would have a few minutes when the rain stopped and we could get out and stretch the legs. We then had a fine weather window to explore a small part of the Red Hills and get out to the coast at Big Bay before the next front came thru. From here we had huts to stay in and fine weather as we made our way around the coast to Martins Bay. Once past Jamestown the views were replaced with thick native bush as we slogged our way along the Demon Trail to the Pyke river. From there a great, well formed track provided spectacular views up to the Darran Mountains and Hollyford river.
Few realise that the Red Hills in Nelson and the one we explored here were once part of the same range before being split by the the Alpine Fault and pushed 500km south. Both have a mineral belt of unusual ultrabasic rocks.These areas consist of rocks low in silica but rich in iron and magnesium minerals and few plants able to grow on them.