The 1687m Mount Somers rises from the flatlands above the villages of Mount Somers, 21km southwest of Methven, and Staveley, 8km further south The mountain is encircled by the Mount Somers Track, which is conveniently in the rain shadow of the mountains and is often above the bushline – when it’s raining in Arthur’s Pass and Mount Cook is clagged in, there’s still a chance you’ll be able to get some hiking in here. The terrain, gentle by South Island standards, incorporates patches of regenerating beech forest and open tussock pocked by outcrops of rock. Large areas of low-fertility soil subject to heavy rainfall turn to bog, and as a result you’ll find bog pine, snow totara, toatoa, mountain flax and maybe even the rare whio (blue duck).

If you don’t fancy a long walk, just go as far as Sharlpin Falls (about 1hr return) or go riding with Staveley Horse Treks.

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