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Kura Tāwhiti / Castle Hill Basin

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Summary

The area contains thousands of weather sculptured limestone boulders. It is known around the world for its technical and powerful climbing.

Description

Castle Hill basin is a semi-alpine area nestled between two mountain ranges (Craigieburn and Torlesse). Spittle Hill and Quantum Field are the most developed and thus polished areas. Guidebooks for these areas may be found at the YHA in Springfield. Flock Hill, which takes a long hike to access, does not really have a guidebook available. However, excellent information on some problems, especially those V8 and up, is available at castlehillbasin.co.nz.

Webcam of the area: http://www.castlehill.net.nz/webcam.php

Weather: http://www.castlehill.net.nz/Weather/weather.php

Also close to the excellent Hogs Back MTB trail and half a dozen club ski fields.

The Comprehensive Castle Hill Climbing Guide by Matt Pierson and Alan Davison (2009).

Access issues

Some areas are part of Kura Tawhiti Conservation Reserve and managed by the DOC, others are private property.

For access to the main Castle Hill area, you can park in the lot available for the Castle Hill Park which contains some walking trails. These walking trails will also take you to Quantum Field or Spittle Hill. This is one of the easiest areas to get up and get going unless you want to fit in a good hike.

If you want access to Flock Hill, Dry Valley or Cave Stream, take a 10 minute drive further north along 73 to park at the Cave Stream Park area. There will be an obvious park sign. You will then need to take a bit of a hike to get where you need to go.

Approach

Caste Hill is in the Canterbury high country, approx. 90km northwest of Christchurch. Take 73 all the way into the Castle Hill region which from Christchurch takes about 1.5 hours. When you get to Castle Hill, there is a 20 car carpark (with toilet) on the left side (heading north) off the West Coast Rd (a few km south of Castle Hill Village). This will be marked with a sign making it obvious as the Castle Hill park.

When driving into Castle Hill, the villages in this area are very small. There is a petrol station in Springfield, however if you want decent food you will need to stock up at the grocery store in Darfield.

Where to stay

Castle Hill Village has some upscale accomodations. There are a few hostels/motels in Springfield. For camping, go to Cragieburn shelter about a 20 minutes drive further west on 73 past the Castle Hill car park.

Areas

Add area(s) Add topo Reorder Bulk edit
Name
Style
Routes
Ticks
Height
Grades
Spittle Hill sector
2,396
1,812
4m
97
3,076
2,275
4m
64
Closed Lime Quarry sector
11
0
Flock Hill sector
123
139
5m
9
Cave Stream sector
44
53
6m
2

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