From the tourist mecca of Queenstown a day trip will take you along the lake edge to Garston and over the southern end of the Hector Mountains to the Nevis Valley road.
Through this high V-shaped gorge between the Hector and Garvie mountains runs the Nevis River in its single rocky channel. Streams feed the river from the mountains on either side, fretting the landscape and giving you 31 crossings. Water-races from mining days wind down the valley sides. Off the track, thickly growing spiny wild Spaniard threatens to spear anyone who explores on foot.
From Nevis Crossing the road climbs steeply to Duffers Saddle, between the „Carrick and Old Woman ranges, giving views of the surrounding Hector and Garvie mountains, and a rear view of the Remarkables to the west. After a steep drop to the old mining centre of Bannockburn the road rejoins the highway at Cromwell for the drive back to Queen town.
HOW TO GET THERE:
Turn right off SH6 into Nevis Road 1,6km north of the Garston Hotel. This road may be closed from May to October by the Southland District Council. Check with the council at Invercargill before you set out: (03) 218-7259 or Lumsden (03) 248-7307.
F41 (Arrowtown), F42 (Kingston), F43 (Garvie)
S > N. Start at K4J 733193
Gravel road for most of its. length v with 31 stream crossings.These can be impassable after rain arid‘ difficult to cross once the level has dropped because of scouring. You may have to turn back.
Source: 4WD South Island Volume 1 (Ken Sibly & Mark Wilson)