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           Borland Saddle/Mt Burns Tops

North of Tuatapere lies lake Monowai the sight of one of New Zealand's first Hydropower schemes. It is also where the power transmission lines come through the mountains from the Manapouri power station.  The Borland road is the access road for these transmission towers.  Take the Monowai turn off 35 minutes north of Tuatapere on SH99 and continue past the Borland lodge. Follow the Borland road to its summit where you will find a car park and toilet. This is a gravel road that is narrow and steep in places and requires careful driving. It is closed during winter. Tuatapere to Borland saddle 1 Hour.


 From the carpark follow a defined trail up the spur beginning next to the information sign about the Green lake landslide. This trail is easy to follow onto the open tops becoming a little indistinct in places once out on the tops.


Keep to the ridgeline that meanders around many beautiful tarns and climbs onto the more defined ridge with massive views over Green Lake, Lake Monowai, the Kaherekaoua, Hunter and Merrie Mountains and out to the Takitimu and the Eyre ranges and south to Stewart Island.


It only takes an hour to be well onto these tops. In fine weather, you can continue to the summit of Mt Burns but just exploring the beautiful alpine plants and tarns of this area can occupy many hours of enjoyable wandering.

Alpine herbs and birdlife abound here for those who take the time to sit and look. With its landscapes and plants, these tops provide a bountiful day out for the photographer.


There is no formed track but keeping to trails used by others will reduce the impact on the fragile alpine environment. Care must be taken on the steeper sections where the snowgrass can be very slippery even when dry.  It is unusual to be able to access the tussock tops in Fiordland so easily and you will find this to be a wonderful day trip.





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