Hiking Rock and Pillar


Added by Vita Rice

Duration: 1-2 daysScenicChallenging (all up hill)Multiple switchbacks

The Rock and Pillar Conservation Area is extremely exposed. The DOC website lists multiple places to begin the walks throughout the Rock and Pillar range. The walk location where these photos were taken was Track 4: State Highway 87, 5 km north of Middlemarch option. Signposted off of SH87, you will drive onto private property for a few hundred meters, dodging sheep and other animals along the way. There is a carpark, and you will follow the fence to the right (we went a different way because we didn't see the correct path) and towards the hills, where you will enter the conservation area (1.2km to conservation area boundary).

The path will follow multiple switchbacks, continually uphill for approximately two hours until you reach the top. Along the way you will pass through tussock grasses until reaching the Alpine Zone. The Alpine Zone may have wintery conditions year-round, so taken necessary precautions. The sign as you enter the alpine zone states that Gale Hurricane Force Winds are likely. This is not an understatement. In the Alpine Zone you may experience varying levels of snow and ice, and will walk an undefined orange pole posted route. Be sure to follow the poles and stay as close to the 'track' as possible.

You may stay in Big Hut for the night before descending back down ($10/night/person), or it may be used as shelter and a place to eat and rest. Big Hut has a bathroom.

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