With options for a family stroll to a multi-day hiking adventure, Mt Fyffe is the ultimate way to experience both the Southern Alps and the Kaikoura Peninsula, whether in the summer sun or with winter’s snowy blanket.
Mt Fyffe is named after Kaikoura’s founder—Robert Fyffe—who arrived in 1843 to start his own whaling station, who later grew his business into farming sheep and goats in the Kaikoura plains near what is now referred to as Mt Fyffe.
Only 7.5 kilometers from Kaikoura’s town centre, Mt Fyffe is easily accessible from any accommodation in the area. There are three key tracks to choose from and all of the tracks permit mountain biking, with acknowledgement that the ascent and descent are extremely steep.
The first option is the Hinau Track, which is a 45 minuteloop through a unique New Zealand forest and has a well formed path for families and dogs.
The second option is the Mt Fyffe summit, which is a five to eight hour return trip. For those wanting the views but don’t want to commit to a whole day of walking, the Mt Fyffe Hut offers an extraordinary lookout point of the surrounding Kaikoura region. However, the extra effort is worth it, as climbers who reach the summit are rewarded with stunning views of the Kaikoura plains, peninsula, Southern Alps and, on a really clear day, the North Isaland and Banks Peninsula.
The third option is the Kowhai-Hapuku Circuit, which is a two to three day backcountry tramping track. Taking climber over the Kowhai Saddle into typical Kaikoura backcountry, many of which is untouched, there are some real challenging aspects. In addition to having stunning panoramic views, other highlights include crossing the Hapuku Gorge, reaching the 1153m summit and tracking through the braided river beds of the Kaikoura plains on the return.
There are ever-changing weather conditions on Mt Fyffe, so make sure to come prepared for all scenariosm, even if just doing a day walk. And a great reward for such a big effort is indulging in Kaikoura’s great seafood scene—a highlight being the Kaikoura Seafood BBQ truck on the Kaikoura Peninsula.
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