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Mount Owen - Kahurangi National Park

The elevation of 1875 meters makes Mount Owen the highest peak of Kahurangi National Park and the views from this peak are absolutely stunning.

Glacier-scoured and eroded by water, the unique alpine karst land forms of the Mt Owen massif are unusual and spectacular.

Much of The Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed in the spectacular South Island. Mt Owen represented Dimrill Dale hillside in the 'Now Without Gandalf' and 'Escape from Moria' parts of The Fellowship of the Ring film.

There are several ways to reach the summit of Mt Owen.  The southern access is the more demanding and can be reached from the Owen Valley East Road; which is right across the road from the Owen River Tavern.

Just follow Owen Valley East Road for approximately 13 km until you get to the track sign-posted to Sunrise Peak. Alternatively turn left down the side road to access the route to Branch Creek Hut (6 bunks) via Frying Pan Creek and Fyfe River.

The road crosses private land, please respect the property and leave gates as you find them.  If you are planning to camp or driving up the road at night contact the landowners for permission. Contact the Department Of Conservation Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre for details.

The southern access is the most difficult approach to Mt Owen. This route is challenging and requiring a high level of fitness and experience.

Owen Valley East Road to Mt Owen Summit — Sunrise Peak Route (7 hours)

The track crosses farmland for approximately 2 km before entering the forest. The river is crossed several times before the track climbs steeply up Sunrise Ridge to the bush line.

Please note, once you leave the Owen River there is no readily available water.

Above the bush line, scramble up through the thick tussock and steep scree fields to the ridge below Sunrise Peak. Continue northwards towards Mt Owen, picking your way carefully through the marble formations.

Good visibility is essential for route finding. There are no markers or rock cairns above the bush line. Bush line to Mt Owen summit takes about 3 hours.