The Mingha-Deception covers, in just two or three days, all of the most notable features of Arthur’s Pass – braided rivers, open tops, a mountain lake, beech forest, waterfalls, boulder-hopping, huts, and footbridges.
From the usual southern starting point for the track at Mingha Corner, ford the Bealey River, and walk up the riverbed. Make sure you’re not starting here after or during heavy rain as there’s no bridge and the river will be too dangerous.
About halfway to Goat Pass, Dudley Knob above the Mingha Gorge is a good rest stop and viewpoint into the upper valley.
Mingha Bivouac is sited beside the Mingha above the gorge, and Kennedy Falls, plunging 150m out of an alpine basin, is just upriver from the bivvy.
Take Goat Pass on the northern side to drop steeply into the Deception, or take the easier southern approach to cross numerous boardwalks with views of the Southern Alps.
Goat Pass Hut sits just over the pass and is well protected from the storms which lash this area at any time of year.
Lake Mavis lies just above Goat Pass and will take around two hours to reach. It is set in a post glacial cirque at 1600m beneath Mt Oates, which is accessible for those with climbing and route-finding skills.
The Upper Deception continues to the north-east above the pass to Upper Deception Hut, which provides welcome shelter when the river is high.
Large gravely flats above and below Gorge Creek, allow for faster travel in the oftentimes slow and tedious passage through this valley to Midday Stream spring.
Take Lower Gorge route with care to Morrison Footbridge, which marks the end (or beginning) of the journey.
- Total Ascent
- Mingha Corner to Goat Pass Hut, 5-6hr; Goat Pass Hut to footbridge, 7-8hr; Goat Pass to Lake Mavis, 3hr return
- Goat Pass Hut ($5, 20 bunks); Upper Deception Hut (free, six bunks)
- SH73 at Mingha Corner, 5km south of Arthur’s Pass Village or SH73 at Morrison Footbridge, 6km north of Otira