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Coach Stream Route, Torlesse-Korowai Tussocklands Park

Torlesse-Korowai Tussocklands Park
Off SH73 at the base of Porters Pass (eastern side) is a signposted and marked track heading into Coach Stream
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It begins with a very pleasant meander up Coach Stream, where the Cobb Co coachlines, using teams of horses in the late 19th Century, drove over to the West Coast, taking three to four days. Some of the line of that historic route is still visible, and walk-able, where it runs up the stream and then begins the climb to the pass above.

Not far up-valley the track begins to ascend the hillside to the south, zigzagging until a high point is reached at 1000m. From here the first of the views begin to open up of the plains and nearby Torlesse Range, seen through a gap in the ridgeline above the present day highway. There are also some striking rock tors here worth investigating and some fine stands of tussock.

Circumnavigate the head of Coach Stream through a copse of beech forest and climb out onto the track junction with the Starvation Gully route (coming up from the west side of Porters Pass) at 1150m. Head higher to reach Trig M, which has a grand view of Lake Lyndon and the Waimakariri Basin as well as towards distant Lake Coleridge.

Scamper down to the track junction and follow the northern branch across to the opposite ridge encircling Coach Stream. From this point an unmarked, though easily followable ground trail, heads along the crest before dipping steeply down to meet the line of the old coach road.

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