Mt Eldrig Tops
A wonderful day out above the bushline
From the Ice Age
with the Waiau river basin below
Travel north from Tuatapere to the Borland road/Lake Monowai turn off at Blackmount. Continue up the Borland road to the signposted Mt Eldrig track. The track begins by following an access road to one of the transmission pylons. This can be driven in a 4wd but there is not much room to park at the end and the road can be rough. The walking track begins near the road end by climbing a small rock bank and at first is a narrow path through regrowth scrub. This soon opens out into the more normal bush.
It only takes about an hour to gain the alpine scrub level and several rock outcrops are passed along the way giving great views. The track is rough with lots of roots and not well cut but easy enough to follow.
Emerging out of the bush the marked route climbs steeply giving access to a large area of short tussock tops. Studded with strange rock outcrops and piles of huge boulders this is an attractive area with many tarns and small lakes. The marked route continues up to the summit of MT Eldrig with huge views over the surrounding mountains to the north, west and south and the farmland to the east.
These tops, while not high by many standards are well south and are exposed to cold strong winds. Be prepared with enough warm clothing at any time of the year.
It is possible to make a circuit to Mt Burns along the connecting ridge but it is very steep in places and some terse words have been used to describe the experience. There are no poles or track markers. You should not attempt this unless you are confident and experienced in mountain terrain and navigation. It is probably easier to do this from the Borland saddle down past Mt Burns and Mt Eldrig with a car at either end.