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The Mesopotamia route

  • 02 Sep 2008

Coloured map

Te Araroa gains an essential Canterbury linkage under the tenure review agreement announced today for Mesopotamia Station.

Te Araroa Trust's Geoff Chapple said the new agreement provided a 25-kilometre corridor through Mesopotamia high country, and with the further development of the Two Thumbs Range Conservation Park, would provide the tramping link from the Rangitata River through to Lake Tekapo.

"We've always been keen to include Mesopotamia into the trail," said Chapple. "It's historic, and it's astonishing country. We've very pleased with this result."

"The northern margins of this station, the wide Rangitata river braids, the Two Thumb mountains and Mesopotamia's huge ice-rolled terraces are one of this country's most memorable landscapes," said Chapple.

"The essayist, novelist, and artist Samuel Butler was first to run stock here in the 1860s, and his famous novel Erewhon took its descriptions from this country. The proposed Te Araroa route traverses both that colourful past, and that powerful landscape. It passes the grave of a former colonial secretary, then heads up Bush Stream, past historic musterers' huts, and into a basin where you're surrounded by the high-country's vast ice-carved landscapes."

This route is a vital part of Te Araroa's planned 70-kilometre north-south traverse from the Rangitata River through to Tekapo township - a four to five-day tramp through some of New Zealand's finest high country.

Mesopotamia Bush Creek catchment
Gilbert Van Reenen

The Bush Creek catchment from Mt Sinclair

Mesopotamia Rangitata headwaters
Gilbert Van Reenen

Headwaters of the Rangitata River, with Mesopotamia foreground

Page last updated: Jul 28, 2020, 5:08 PM