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Kaikoura – Kahurangi

12 May 2010

A guide for climbers to the mountains of Nelson and Marlborough

Published by the New Zealand Alpine Club 

Simon Noble's guide to the Nelson Lakes (left) and the Kaikoura - Kahurangi guidebook (right)

In 1994, Simon Noble compiled a 24 page booklet titled ‘A climbing guide for the Nelson Lakes Region’. The booklet was published specifically for a NZAC camp in the Travers Valley, in Nelson Lakes National Park, and was subsequently reprinted in 2001 with revisions by Ben Winnubst (26 pages). 

Ben Winnubst is the editor of the alpine club’s guidebook ‘Kaikoura – Kahurangi’, published in 2006 – but most route descriptions for the Nelson Lakes Region (the bulk of this publication) are derived directly from Simon Noble’s booklet. And many route descriptions for the Seaward Kaikoura Ranges were paraphrased (with permission) from Barry Dunnett’s book Kaikoura Walks and Climbs. 

Regions covered by this guidebook include the Inland and Seaward Kaikoura Ranges, the Clarence, Wairau, Travers, Sabine, D’Urville and Matakitaki valleys, the Spenser Mountains, Kahurangi National Park and the Richmond Ranges. Routes are rated according to the Mount Cook grading system (1 – 7), although few climbs in the guidebook are harder than a grade 3. Recommended climbs are highlighted. A comprehensive section on the climbing history in the area is missing, and information on first ascents and notable climbs is scarce or absent. 

A web update to this guidebook is available 


Winnubst, B. (2006) Kaikoura – Kahurangi: a guide for climbers to the mountains of Nelson and Marlborough. Published by the New Zealand Alpine Club. 112 pages.

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