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Climb to the Top of Eldrig Peak

Fiordland National Park, New Zealand


Added by Crystal Brindle

A great spot in southern Fiordland for a nice scramble up an infrequently visited peak or a beautiful basin for overnight camping!

The track to the Eldrig Peak tops begins from a small parking area on the Borland Road a few kilometers above Borland Lodge. The Borland Road is normally open in summer but it is best to call the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre to confirm - 03 249 7924. The road is dirt and gravel but a two-wheel drive vehicle can make it to the carpark. It is well-signed from the road and therefore easy enough to find. 

It takes anywhere from 3 - 5 hours to reach the Eldrig Peak summit but the open country can be reached in less than an hour and a half. The track begins as a rocky road and can be driven for a short distance if you have a vehicle that can handle it. After perhaps 20 minutes walking, a small orange triangle on the left-hand side indicates the start of the single track through the forest as it leaves the road. Step onto the track and begin a beautiful climb through rata and beech forest to the bushline. Views beyond the forest are enjoyed in less than 45 minutes and soon you'll climb above the trees through tussock dotted with impressive rock formations. Keep an eye out for skinks scurrying through the low vegetation in this area. 

The track continues to be marked with orange marker poles until just before point 1269. If you don't feel confident going off-track from here, simply enjoy the rocky views and outcrops at this spot. It is an impressive destination in its own right! If you want to reach the summit and have the experience to do so, there are two route options. Route number one involves walking up the gentle herb-dotted slope of point 1498, descending to the saddle at 1415, and then climbing the rocky and sometimes narrow ridge to reach the summit at 1595. It is easier to climb up this way than to climb down but note that there are some exposed sections that will require leaving the ridge for a few sidles if you aren't comfortable with the exposure. 

Route two can also be used as the descent route to make a loop if you choose the first option. From the summit, simply descend the easy ridge to point 1464 and then drop into the lake-strewn basin between points 1330 and 1251. You can use route two as an up and back option to avoid the exposed ridge by first crossing into the lake basin from where the marker poles end.

Whichever way you choose to descend from the peak or out of the basin, regain the marked track and retrace your steps to the carpark. Wonderful views of iconic Mount Titiroa can be had on a fine day from this area as well as a great vantage point over the upper Borland Road. Lake Monowai can also be seen as well as the distant Merrie Range that conceals the infamous Dusky Track. 

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