Peaking out Rising to 1398m above Lake Hawea, the aptly-named Grandview Mountain provides a stunning panorama without the crowds of nearby Roys Peak.
Starting from the car park at the Nook Road end, the track crosses an easement over Lake Hawea Station, following a 4WD track up a pleasant grassy valley, crossing Grandview Creek multiple times. A distinctive unnamed peak stands at the head of the valley, rising sharply with copses of beech and scrub giving way to a steep rock face at its summit.
The track climbs from the valley floor through patches of briar and kanuka scrub. Here it runs adjacent to Grandview Conservation Area, a DOC reserve created after Hawea Station went through tenure review in 2010. The reserve lies on steep terrain, from the ridgeline of Grandview Mountain at 1400m, down to the valley floor 800m below. In total, 4700ha of conservation land was created, while over 7000 merino are still farmed on the remaining 6627ha of the station.
The trail climbs steadily for another hour, zigzagging into tussock land and speargrass as altitude is gained. Soon it reaches a ridgeline, revealing the first extensive views of Lake Hawea, Wanaka and the Southern Alps.
Once on the ridge, the track steepens, passing below the rocky summit of Grandview 100m above, before doubling back on a more gentle route to reach the top.
The summit is marked with a trigpoint with, well, grand views. On a clear day, the profile of Mt Aspiring/Tititea can be seen in the west, as well as other prominent peaks in the nearby Southern Alps, behind Lake Wanaka. To the north lie peaks at the head of the Ahuriri Valley, while in the north-west, The Neck between the two lakes and the peaks beyond can clearly be seen.
In the foreground lies Hawea Flat and the Clutha River, which winds through the alluvial plain towards the Pisa Range and Lake Dunstan.
When we visited, clouds threatened to both the north and the south with heavy showers seemingly all around – somehow we remained dry, under clear skies.
This route can also be turned into an overnight loop to the eight-bunk Pakituhi Hut, which was built in 2011 after the conservation area was formed. From the summit, it’s a further 13km to the hut on the Grandview Ridge Track. Sited at 1260m, this offers the best way to make the most of the steep altitude gain. From Pakituhi Hut, it’s a steep descent to Lake Hawea via the Breast Hill Track, which is part of the Te Araroa Trail. For a longer ramble, you can also follow the Grandview Ridge Track south 22km to reach the Long Gully car park near Tarras.