Harman Pass, Arthurs Pass National Park

The stream draining Ariel's Tarns on Harman Pass - early March. Harman Pass (1300m) links the Waimakariri and Taipo rivers. The Wilberforce catchment can be reached from the pass by ascending Whitehorn Pass (1750m), the second of the "Three passes" (the third being Browning Pass - the "three passes" is a classic four day tramp or an 11-13 hr run for a select few). At the base of Harman Pass, on the Taipo side lie the Julia creek hot springs.

I've met several amateur prospectors in the headwaters of the Taipo - a long way to carry a metal detector. A small commercial mine operates down stream extracting alluvial gold from river gravels 20m down. Their access road makes rafting and kayaking the lower Taipo gorge popular. Taipo means "devil" in Maori, an indication of the care to be taken when crossing!

  • The Taipo river flats (59k)

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    Copyright (c) 1996 Jonathan Carr