Last year we set out on an adventure to climb the North buttresses of Newton Peak. Having researched other FMC trips into this area, I was eager to plan a trip to explore this wild place.

With heavy packs Ed Cromwell, Nick Kowalski, Leonard Brockerhoff and myself set off on a sunny afternoon in mid-February up the Rakaia River. With 95km ahead of us, we would cross Lyell glacier, over Lambert Col into the Gardens of Eden to set up camp at the base of Newton Peak. Our time on the plateau was a mixture of great rock climbing, stormy nights and stunning views while walking on the ice. With the added bonus of traversing the southern divide, we made our way back to civilization over the Great Unknown and along the Perth River.

Thanks to all the help from the FMC for their contribution in making this trip possible and for supporting years of young adventurers getting out to these unexplored places!

Applications for FMC’s Expedition Scholarships close annually in mid-September. Visit the FMC website to learn more and apply.

View this route in full screen on

Check out the video made by Nick, for a snippet of this expedition.

This journey crosses the Adams Wilderness Area, which is legally protected from helicopter landings, and has no huts or tracks. There are only a few gazetted (legal) Wilderness Areas in NZ, and FMC has been pivotal in their creation and defense of their values.

Learn more about our Wilderness Areas, including an interactive mapping tool which shows their boundaries on a topographic map of NZ on