Stacey Banfield

Christchurch Based Makeup Artist & Blogger

All You Need To Know About Hiking Little Mt Peel

Little Mt Peel is located within the Peel Forrest about 40minutes from Ashburton,here in the South Island of New Zealand. Don’t let the name fool you because there really is nothing little about it, but in saying that it’s good to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and explore more of the real untouched New Zealand, that the South Island has to offer.

When you arrive at Peel Forrest there is a small car park on the left hand side for you to park in, you can also drive up to where the track starts, but the road up is pretty narrow so there isn’t a lot of parking space available, keep in mind there are residents who live up there too.

Now before going on any hike you should always do your research and go well prepared, especially if your heading up a mountain in the Winter time. Good footwear is 100% required for this track, I wear a trail shoe, but found even that didn’t have much grip in some parts. Take lots of water, and be dressed warm, as once you come out onto the ridge and start your climb to the summit your pretty open to the elements.

The start of the track takes you through part of Peel Forrest, it is uphill pretty much the entire way to the top of the mountain with a couple of flatter spots to relax your legs. I would suggest only doing this track if you have a moderate to advanced level of fitness, as it totally puts your cardio to the test. Remember to save your energy, it’s not a race so take your time and admire the nature and views around you.

We came across a lot of mud and ice which made for slippery going, luckily we held our balance well and didn’t end up on our butt’s covered in mud, as i can totally see how easily it would happen. Once you break through the forrest and hit the ridge, you will be greeted with a board walk that pretty much guides you to the top.

If you make it to the top, you go Glen Coco! The euphoric feeling of reaching the summit is pretty unreal, surrounded by pure New Zealand beauty you really do feel on top of the world! If your game enough you can continue on to do Big Mt Peel, although DOC suggest staying overnight for that one and i’d suggest taking proper gear along with you too.

Heading back down is equally as tough, as much as it is a relief on the old calf muscles, your legs are really put to the test when it comes to controlling your balance and speed. Take your time, watch your step and you will be back at the bottom in no time.

If you love a challenge then this track is totally for you, although in the Spring/Summer I think the weather conditions would make it a lot easier, as it won’t be so slushy and muddy. If Little Mt Peel doesn’t sound right for you, Peel Forrest has lots of other options available that range from a time of 30mins return.

They even have a couple of waterfalls on offer, so make sure you head out there and take a look around. You will be amazed at how good you feel, and how differently you look at life,once you start exploring more of the places that are right in your own backyard!

Now go on adventure waits!

Ps Don’t forget to send me your pics I love seeing them all!!


What You Need To Know!

Time: Roughly 5 hrs Return, Location: Peel Forrest, Cell Phone Reception: None until you start getting higher. There is a DOC hut located at the top of the mountain but there is no toilet.

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