ZL3 has so much to offer. I have to work hard at not being too envious of anybody who gets to go there now that we have the association active. The mountains and hills do indeed look stunning, and there is an extensive network of hiking trails. I am very taken by the choice of huts. Here’s one link, but I think there might be other agencies managing yet more:
I have enjoyed many hours pouring over maps from LINZ, the New Zealand mapping agency. They provide full coverage at 1:50,000 and they’re very nice maps, quite similar in style to OSGB 1:50,000. The easiest way to view them in your browser is to visit http://www.topomap.co.nz/
Here, for instance (if the embedding doesn’t work, follow the link), is the Banks Peninsula, where we have 11 2-pointers:
View Larger Topographic Map
Here ZL3/CB-678 is the one ZL3 summit I can say I’ve been up, but only part-way, on a horse and without a radio! Oh to go back again (but I think the horse outfit at Orton Bradley Park has shut up shop sadly).
I’ll leave you to explore the stunning views from summits. Try Panoramio for instance.
Of course much of our time on Summits Team (perhaps the most time actually, because the summits themselves are generally relatively easy to identify) is spent chasing the cols between summits. And what do you find at cols? Roads, yes - obvious but boring! I’m referring to railways. South Island has retained a very useful network, which itself looks worthy of exploration (it’s narrow gauge after all). But also there are various disused or preserved branches. One branch has been converted into the Otago Central Rail Trail, so probably handy for exploring the ZL3/OT region.
Incidentally I happened upon a charming story whilst exploring mapping of the Otago gold fields. Not far from ZL3/OT-376, Rough Ridge, is an abandoned gold mine, called Serpentine. It has a church, where the story goes that it saw just one service. Because the minister was delayed the miners enjoyed the hospitality of the local hotel whilst waiting, and there followed a certain amount of raucousness. The minister never returned!
Anyway, look what grabbed my attention at a col near ZL3/CB-824:
(One for the fans of kettles)
This is the top end of the Weka Pass Railway. The climb up the hill gives some proper exercise to their steam locos.
And a nice (drone) video:
And over near ZL3/CB-813 I found what looks like an excellent place to stop for lunch (but being by the col, not really permissible for entry to our summit trail cafes thread). This is actually one of the original railway stations which they have picked up and moved across the tracks before restoration and conversion to a cafe.
Anyway, that’s just a small selection of the many many things which have provided pleasant distraction to me.
I hope you will all forgive me for prattling on about railways again, but at least it’s ZL railways this time!