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South Ridge Track – Blandswood – Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve

Home  »  South Island Walks  »  Geraldine  »  South Ridge Track – Blandswood – Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve

The South Ridge Track starts after the steep climb up Lookout Road from the Blandswood Road car park. Follow the Emily Falls Track as it climbs into the forest until you reach the falls themselves. From this point, the track onwards becomes the South Ridge Track. 

While the Emily Falls Track is well-maintained, the rest of the climb to the Little Mt Peel summit is steep and the last stretch involves climbing over some rocks. 

The track connects with the Deer Spur track at the summit. Thus, you can return the same way or turn your walk into a loop track. 

If returning the same way, keep along the ridge line through the dracophyllum scrub. After about an hour, you will see a pole indicating the track that now leads away from the ridge. From here you will find your way back into the bush and back towards Emily Falls Track. 

Due to the steep incline of the climb, the descent should also be done with extreme caution as there is the risk of rock falling. Because of this, many people choose to descend using the Deer Spur track. The two tracks also have different types of vegetation, so there is a lot more to see.

Quick Facts

        • Location: Geraldine, South Island, New Zealand
        • Time needed: 7 hour walk
        • Distance: 7 km
        • Difficulty: Very hard
        • Bikes allowed: Unknown
        • Route: Return
        • Elevation: 1000 m
        • Wet Feet: Ice and snow in winter, and mud after rain
        • Toilets: There is a toilet at the shelter near the summit.
        • Dogs: No
        • Mobile Coverage: Poor coverage
        • Last Updated: July, 2020
  • Track Highlights

    The track is challenging but rewarding, with stunning views of the Canterbury plains.

  • Track Quality

    The track is steep and difficult. It is not a well-formed track the whole way and involves some mild rock climbing.

  • Hazards

    The track involves climbing rocks and potentially muddy or icy terrain. It is not recommended to attempt this track after rainfall or without appropriate footwear.

  • Transport


  • Water

    There is a water supply at the shelter near the summit.

  • Driving Instructions

    Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve is 22 km north of Geraldine. Head north on SH72 for 8 km. Turn left after Orari Bridge on Geraldine Arundel Road. Turn left after 3 km onto Peel Forest Road. Continue for 13 km. Turn left onto Blandswood Road. Drive 2 km until you reach the car park.

  • Shops or Restaurants nearby

    There are a couple shops and restaurants before entering the reserve.

  • Area & Track History

    Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve is the largest reserve in the Geraldine area, covering 783 hectares.

  • Camping & huts on or near the walk

    There is a camping ground at Clarke Flat. It is also possible to camp near the summit or spend the night at the shelter there.

Map of South Ridge Track – Blandswood – Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve

Here is the map for South Ridge Track – Blandswood – Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve showing it’s location in New Zealand. You can change the view on the map to satellite if you prefer to see an image of where the walk is instead.

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