Three-time winner of the Coast to Coast and longtime Granity local, Emily Miazga shares her three favourite West Coast walks. By Kathryn Catton
Emily Miazga is a born adventurer. Not only has she won the country’s toughest multisport race three times, but she’s established her own energy food business with Em’s Power Cookies and a soon to be launched range of hemp protein cookies.
But Miazga still recognises the importance of balance and self-care, and finds the best way to unwind and recharge is to go tramping in the bush around her home in Granity, north of Westport.
“I love the fact that I can access the backcountry straight from my front door,” says Miazga, who was born in Canada. “Within 200m of being on a track, the air changes. That is so invigorating for me. It’s how I re-energise.”
Here are three of her favourite walks.
Charming Creek Walkway
“If I want a day trip out to recharge, I would have to pick the Charming Creek Walkway,” says Miazga. “It’s the epitome of Aotearoa for me.”
Billed as a 2.5-3hr one way easy walk of 9.5km, the undulating track crosses swingbridges, passes through beautiful bush and includes Mangatini Falls and views of the upper Ngakawau Gorge. The walk mostly follows an historic bush tramway through the lower gorge and then goes along Charming Creek to the abandoned
Charming Creek Coal Mine where historic sawmilling and mining relics can be viewed. The gorge nestles among steep bluffs while below, water foams past immense boulders in the riverbed.
Chasm Creek Walkway
Number two on the list is the Chasm Creek Walkway, close to Hector, starting at the Mokihinui-Seddonville Road, inland from Mokihinui. The track follows the old railway line into Seddonville, and goes through an historic tunnel (glowworms are visible at night), passing over old historic rail bridges and affording great views of Warrigal Island.
Its minimal elevation and short 2km distance make it accessible to everyone.
“It’s often overlooked by serious trampers, but it’s a good option for a rest day or an evening stroll,” says Miazga.
Mt Glasgow Route
The route to the tops of the Glasgow Range is steep, but it’s the change in scenery as much as the change in elevation that appeals to Miazga.
“This is a great overnighter. I just love the ocean views, inland views, bush and river views,” she says. “But most of all I love the fact that I can drink from the rivers!”
Access is from Seddonville and off Charming Creek Road and the 3-5hr hike to the tops is for more experienced trampers. “Safety has to be your number one priority,” says Miazga. “Don’t bite off more than you can chew and make sure your navigation skills are up to scratch before you leave.”