Carews Peak is an insignificant summit, the sort you could drive past without noticing, but it qualifies for SOTA thanks to the drop to Peraki Saddle on the north side, before the ridge rises again to Saddle Hill. Requiring only a short walk from the road, it was just what we needed for Julia’s first SOTA trip – it was great to have her along.
There was a cold wind blowing from the north, so after checking out the summit we set up the operating position in some shelter on the south side. When not enveloped in cloud, we had good views over Akaroa Harbour and south-west along Kaitorete Spit.
Wynne ZL2ATH had been waiting for us on Mt Cameron above Wellington Harbour, so the first contact was a summit-to-summit with him. Then came some good and not-so-good reports from ZLs near and far on 40m. As Ken ZL4NR said, winding the power up to 20w from my usual 10w made a difference. Switching to 20m and self-spotting on SOTAwatch brought some VK contacts. Thanks to all chasers.
ZL3/CB-746 Carews Peak
Height: 794m ASL
Directions: Drive to Little River, about 45 minutes from Christchurch. Just before entering Little River township, turn right into Kinloch Road towards Okuti Valley and the Southern Bays. Do not turn left towards Okuti Valley, instead follow Kinloch Road and continue as it narrows and climbs steeply to meet Bossu Road, near the summit ridge. The sealed road ends here. Turn left onto Bossu Road and follow it round (drive with care!) past junctions with Gap Road and Reynolds Valley Road. Just past Reynolds Valley Road you will pass the Saddle Hill Reserve, where the track starts to Saddle Hill ZL3/CB-725. You can now see Carews Peak to the south-east. Keep going around on Bossu Road, past the Jubilee Road/Peraki Road junction, and up the hill to the ridge. Park here near the farm gate, and walk up to the summit. (The same point can be reached from the Akaroa Harbour side, via Wainui Main Road and Bossu Road.)
Time to summit: 70 mins from Christchurch – 65 mins drive, 5 mins walk
Summit marker: Trig pipe and geodetic survey mark plate
Land access permission: Not required, Carews Peak Scenic Reserve
Repeater access: Good into 146.975 Mt Noble, probably also 146.75 Mt Grey. Very marginal into 147.05 Marleys Hill.
Cellphone access: Vodafone/2degrees 3G from the very summit and from points along the road. None from our operating position.
Map: NZ Topo Map
More information: sota.org.uk