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Tramping to Gog and Magog – from Tin Range to Doughboy Bay, Stewart Island

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A lovely 10 day walk down the Tin Range to the granite domes of Gog and Magog. Easy travel on tracks, then compass bearing bush bash to Cook Arm, then a wade and wander on mudflats to the windswept south of Rakiura. On the way back, an unexpected trail lead us from point 637 on the Tin Range to Doughboy Bay.

The Tin Range is an easy day from top to tramway bottom. Incredible views of the entire island, with new surprise views popping up at each high point. Not a place to be on a rainy or cold day. We climbed into the Tin mine, a long shaft with pick marks on the wall, rusty nails, rotting timber supports, and scary roof collapses.

After struggling through scrub on bearings generally south, we emerged onto Cook Arm at low tide. A lovely wade through mud and eelgrass. Plus a great feed of huge blue mussels.

A track through the manuka carried us on a traverse over Magog, to a high and windy campsite. Next day the wind rose to howling gale, making walking on the granite domes great fun, leaning into the breeze!

We wandered back through the easy bush travel of tiny, cute Stewart island; where distance and scale shrinks, micronavigation becomes important, and scrub is best avoided. A lazy day of drizzle was spent reading westerns in the North Pegasus hunter’s hut.

From point 637 on the south of the Tin Range, we descended to leading ridge heading north-east. To our surprise a newly-cut track appeared, marked with old fishing net, packing tape and blazes. Saving us a huge bush bash, we ambled down the track all the way to Doughboy bay. There are some lovely views of the Tin Range from the big creek basin.

And of course, the nice walk out to Oban via the Mason bay dunefields.

Thanks Matt for another great trip – his 12th or so trip to Rakiura; and my 3rd tramping trip (plus having lived there for 6 months!). A great place to relax and enjoy lightweight tramping!

Comments

Comment from Graeme Coop
Time: January 20, 2016, 4:32 pm

That blazed/marked route from Hill 637 you took was short lived. DOC quickly took it out once they found out about it.

I heard that 4 trampers, without a GPS, decided on that route, it sure looks easy from Hill 637, but once down in the bush became bamboozled and 48 hours later pushed their ELB button for some assistance. They were actually pretty close to the river when the helicopter took them for a short flight to Doughboy Hut.

That direct route kinda requires a GPS, or a compass and great navigation skills. You might think the 8km would be quick and easy but, well, others have found it rather more difficult.

Try it at your own peril.

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