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Mt Larkins, Whakaari Conservation Area

On the ridge between Mt Alaska and Mt Larkins. Photo: Premysl Luljak

For a demanding overnight hike with some decent altitude near Queenstown, look no further than Mt Larkins.

The magic of this summit is not only in its 2300m height and outstanding panoramic views, but for the fact that the way up from Heather Jock Hut is not signposted and therefore off the beaten track.

Heather Jock Hut is reached on the Mt Judah Track, an old mining trail that passes the Glenorchy Scheelite Battery and other historic mining huts for day use only. Heather Jock sleeps three and there is information in the hut on the best route up Mt Larkins.

It’s fairly simple: climb onto the ...

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