Explore an alpine environment and still enjoy the luxury of a hot shower and comfortable bed at the end of each day, and no heavy backpack. Packages arranged with two, three, four or five day options. We provide complimentary transport from Motueka and can arrange accommodation in Motueka at a price and style to suit you. Check our Accommodation page. At the end of each day the evening is spent relaxing with a glass of wine whilst discussing the day’s events.
Also see our backpacking trips to the Upper Cobb Valley and the Mount Arthur Tablelands. For anyone interested in flora, the Cobb area is as good as it gets. Kahurangi Park has a massive 80% of all alpine plant species in New Zealand. The closest any other park has to offer is 50%. The best time to view alpine plants in bloom is summer, mid-December through mid-February. Bird sightings in the Cobb may include Kea, Kaka, Robin, Bellbird, Kakariki, Tomtit and Rifleman among others.
A 1½ hour drive from Motueka takes you up through the beautiful beech forest of the Takaka Valley, from where we climb to approximately 1,250 metres to come out on the Cobb Ridge. From here we drive down into the Cobb Valley to our cottage (which we will have rented all to ourselves), with power and full kitchen and shower facilities. From here we do day trips carrying only a daypack.
Each day we can head in a different direction. One can be a walk up the beautiful glacially carved Cobb Valley. Another can be up in the ‘Lakes District’, which is a two hour walk that brings us out on the ‘tops’ above the bushline with magnificent 360 degree views and pristine alpine lakes, lovely to sit beside whilst eating your picnic lunch and enjoying the vistas. Yet another can be a walk up on the other side of the valley to beautiful Lake Peel, another alpine lake. From here you will have views into our magnificent Kahurangi National Park. A particularly favourite walk is in to the cottage where local legends Annie and Henry Chaffey lived in isolation for almost 40 years. Prices, including all food, cottage fees and transfers: 3 days/2 nights $900, 4 days/3 nights $1250, 5 days/4 nights $1600, 6 days/5 nights $1850 (minimum of 4 people for all packages)
A walk up this broad, classically formed glacial valley. The track meanders along the Cobb River in and out of the bush and the tussock grasslands. This is a relaxing day and you can go as far as you wish. This can be a good day to spend learning about our native birds. Our lunch can be had whilst sitting by a lovely river-bend pool (take your swimming gear!).
This walk takes you into the alpine ‘Lakes District’. Once again the day is yours. It can be as long, hard, or as easy as you wish. The opportunities are numerous. We can visit three alpine lakes on this day, and see another two. Our lunch can be had beside one of these lakes, or for fitter people, high on the ridge tops overlooking the park.
Another day on the ‘tops’. This time up the other side of the Cobb Valley. A 1 1/2 to 2 hour walk gets us up through the bush to the Cobb Ridge tops, elev. 1,100 metres, with stunning vistas into the interior of Kahurangi National Park and the majestic Mount Arthur Range with the Tablelands spreading out beneath it. The options from here are numerous. Our picnic lunch can be had at beautiful Lake Peel.
A walk along the Cobb Ridge is a lovely way to see the Cobb Valley the Iron Range and Tablelands and put the whole area into perspective. Magnificent vistas for the entire walk.
This walk is a particular favourite for anyone interested on the history of this famous cottage and the two legendary characters, Annie and Henry Chaffey, who lived here near a former asbestos mine in isolation for almost 40 years. This was an amazing story of love and endurance. Listen to a Radio New Zealand Spectrum documentary on the Chaffeys. (*Note – not found now.)