Upoko-o-Kurī Witch Hill

Upoko-o-Kurī Witch Hill

Upoko-o-Kurī / Witch Hill was as far as we could go by car on Summit Road. From there, a barrier restricted access to the next series of peaks – Te Moenga o Wheke / the Tors, Te Tihi o Kahukura / Castle Rock, Mt Cavendish and Tauhinukorokio / Mt Pleasant – to only bicycles and foot.

The view immediately from the carpark between Mt Vernon and Upoko-o-Kurī / Witch Hill was again superb, especially looking over Lyttelton Harbour. To the right was another route up Mt Vernon, or to the left you could walk below a rocky cliff face, complete with rock climbers.

We expected to find an established informal track to the top but this turned out to be wishful thinking, so we instead bashed our way up the steep slope in thigh high long grass, then scrambled a couple of metres up the rocky outcrop at the top. More adventurous, but did take 3 times longer than we expected. In any event, Upoko-o-Kurī / Witch Hill lived up to its name.

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