"Blackburn Mine/Mt. Somers Hut Walk" Methven Things to Do Tip by Kakapo2

Methven Things to Do: 10 reviews and 10 photos

  Flax bush and low cloud.
by Kakapo2

This walk starts at the Woolshed Creek carpark.

Access to Woolshed Creek is through Mt. Somers township. Turn right (if coming on SH 72 from Darfield/Christchurch/Methven) onto the Ashburton Gorge Road, towards Haketere and Erewhon. After 10.5 km turn right and follow the signposts to Woolshed Creek picnic area for a further 3.5 km.

The original plan was to walk up to the Mt Somers Hut (Woolshed Creek Hut). This should take 2 to 3 hours one way.

But it wasn?t a beautiful day over there, with low cloud, and we had no view at all. So we only walked up to the Blackburn Mine and back to the carpark. This did not take longer than 1.5 hours return.

That was a quite nice walk through beech forest. First it followed the gurgling Woolshed Creek, then through the so-called Ancient Forest. It is believed this pocket of beech forest is the only original forest that survived the fires of the pre-European era.

There the track gets steeper. At a fork we took the left branch ? but if you take the right one it does not matter as it also leads up to the mine in a loop. (We just chose the one which looked less muddy and slippery. Just do not remember which one was named Sidewinder Track?) The walkway crosses the jig where they once transported the coal down the hill.
Soon you leave the forest and get into grassland and flax flats, and at a plateau the remains of the Blackburn Mine that was closed down in 1931.

More Mt. Somers walks on:

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Aug 1, 2008
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