Kahurangi National Park
Lodestone is a peak on the Arthur Range in Kahurangi National Park. Rising to 1462 m, Lodestone is a great half-day walk from Flora car park, particularly for those seeking a quieter and shorter alternative to nearby Mt Arthur. The summit offers breath-taking views of Tasman Bay and the Tasman Mountains.
|Length: 6.7 km (loop back to Flora car park)||Time Required 3-5 hr|
|Trail Type: Walking track||Physical Difficulty: Moderate-Hard|
|Uses: Walking only||Primary Direction: Either (loop)|
|Start Elevation: 930 m||Max Elevation: 1462 m|
|Links to: Mt Arthur Track, Flora-Salisbury Track||Dog Access: Dogs are prohibited in Kahurangi National Park|
Flora car park is located at the end of Grahams Valley Road, southwest of Motueka. Grahams Valley Road begins off Motueka River West Bank Road near Ngatimoti, and is approximately 65 km from Nelson and 21 km from Motueka. Flora car park is located 10 km up Graham Valley Road, at the road end. Be aware that Grahams Valley Road is steep and unsealed, and can be icy and snowy in winter. A 4WD vehicle is recommended. Several companies offer drop-off, pick-up and car relocation services to and from Flora car park.
Begin Lodestone by following the 4WD Road from Flora car park. This will take you over Flora Saddle (975 m) and on to the grassy clearing at Flora Hut (12 bunks). At the hut the track crosses Flora Stream, and immediately begins climbing the ridge directly to the north. The track follows the ridge, which is quite steep and rough in places, passing through silver beech and dracophyllum, and eventually reaches the treeline (1350 m elevation) after 4.1 km.
From the treeline it is a steep scramble to the small, pyramidal summit (1462 m), which offers 360° views across Tasman Bay and west into the wilderness of Kahurangi National Park. The summit ridge is relatively flat and there is a small radio mast on the northwestern slope. The track descends steeply off the summit and down a forested ridge for 2.4 km (30 min) to complete the loop back to Flora car park.
Be sure to indicate your intended route in the visitor book in the Flora Kiosk. Lodestone is an alpine route, so proper preparation and care should be made to ensure a safe trip. This track reaches a high elevation and is exposed above the treeline, so proper outdoor clothing is essential. Be sure to check the weather forecast before you go. Snow may lie above the treeline for weeks in winter and spring, particularly on the southern face. Take extreme care in snowy or icy conditions as the steep sections towards the summit can be very slippery.
It is recommended that this loop is completed in a clockwise direction, as parts from of the climb up from Flora Hut are easier to head up than come down, particularly near the treeline.