Home / Trips / Westland

Mt Haast, Victoria Conservation Park

At the bush edge on the track to Mt Haast. View to Victoria Forest Park. Photo: Pat Barrett
Area
Victoria Conservation Park
Distance
2.35km
Total Ascent
922m
Time
3-4hr
Grade
Moderate
Access
A signposted track 1.8km west of Rahu Saddle on SH7
Map
BT22
GPX File
Mt Haast.Victoria FP (gpx, yo 8 KB)
Your device does not support GPX files. Please try a different device.

At 180,000ha, Victoria Conservation Park is New Zealand’s largest conservation park.

It’s reminiscent of Fiordland with reasonably easily traversed tops surrounded by fearsome battlements consisting of forest floor to bush edge bluffs, massive scarps, skinny two-boot-width ridge crests, truncated spurs and alpine cirques.

Mt Haast is modest in altitude, just 1587m, has a track to the bushline and a poled route from there to the top. It’s almost 1000m of altitude gain from road to summit, and those metres get steeper as you approach the top.

But first the bush. An easy angled trail begins right beside the highway just west of Rahu Saddle and continues at a pleasant gradient all the way to the bush edge.

The forest is mixed and always changing, particularly when heading higher into the subalpine zone. Here, the crunchy fronds of mountain neinei – a flaxy shrub typically found at this level in the west – predominates, creating a carpet of decaying vegetation over the forest floor. The neinei is a harbinger of the bush edge, which you reach soon after.

The ridge crest steepens and narrows as you approach the summit, requiring extra care where over-steepened gullies spiral away beneath the track edge.

Support Wilderness

Since 1991, Wilderness has had one simple goal: to help Kiwis ‘See more, do more, live more’ of New Zealand.

If you value our mission, please consider subscribing. As a loyal supporter, you’ll receive these benefits:

  • New Zealand’s best outdoor journalism We’ve won multiple awards for our journalism and magazine production.
  • NZ’s best trips. Browse more than 610 trips with downloadable maps and route notes.
  • Trustworthy gear reviews. Each month we review gear we’ve been bashing and thrashing for months so you can determine if its worth your money.
  • Member benefits. Our WildCard provides discounts at more than 20 partners throughout New Zealand.
  • Your support goes a long way. Your subscription will help us fund NZ’s best outdoor journalists and writers and ensure Wilderness will be there to inspire the next generation of outdoor Kiwis.

A subscription costs as little as $7.00/month for instant access to all articles, trips, gear reviews and gear guides.

View all our subscription options and join the club.

Already a subscriber? Login Now.