Last Modified: 1-9-2021 10:10


Road near the summit of Altimarloch
Road near the summit of Altimarloch
© Christopher Cookson  License this image

Altimarloch is a 1693 metre high peak in the Black Birch Range. It is the only named peak in the range, named by a member of the Scottish pioneer family, the McCraes, after Altimarlach, a battle between two Scots clans in Caithness, Scotland. Apparently in the Scots dialect, Altimarlach means ‘burn of the gravestones’, and presumably McCrae was inspired by the many tors on the mountain that could give the impression of large gravestones. No Māori name is currently recorded for Altimarloch, although it is certain local Māori were aware of the mountain as it is clearly visible from the Wairau plain.

The peak is flat topped with scree, and treeless with low growing alpine vegetation, including several species rarely found outside of Marlborough.

Most winters, Altimarloch will receive a few days of snowfall, however it does not usually maintain snow cover for more than a day or two at most.

Telecommunications antennae and a generator shed are located on the summit, and a four wheel drive track provides access, making the mountain one of the few, and certainly one of the highest, peaks in New Zealand with vehicle access to the summit.

Cite this page

Cookson, C. (2021). Altimarloch. Retrieved December, 5, 2023, from