The Ned / Te Hau
Last Modified: 24-10-2020 10:16
By: Christopher Cookson
The Ned or Te Hau is a 909m peak to the south of Blenheim with areas of significant indigenous dryland vegetation. The mountain is located on private property within Tempello Station and is the closest significant mountain to Blenheim. Although The Ned not normally accessible to the public, an open day, Tramp The Ned is run as a fundraiser for Fairhall School. The land owners have committed to preserving and protecting the natural heritage of the area through the Tempello Bio-diversity Project.
The origins of the name 'The Ned' are uncertain, however the Māori name 'Ka Para Te Hau' (The long gaze of Te Hau) celebrates the Rangitāne ancestor, Te Hau, the grandfather of Kupe. The mountain itself is said to represent the reclining nose of Te Hau as he surveys the surrounding landscape. The Māori name is quite apt, as from the summit, it is possible to see much of south Marlborough including the Awatere Valley, south to Cape Campbell, and to the north much of the Wairau plain and valley.
The Taylor Valley, the source of the Taylor River, runs north east from the mountain, and the mountain itself can clearly be seen from Blenheim. From the summit it is possible to view much of the lower Awatere and Wairau Plain. Kapara Te Hau (The sunken gardens of Te Hau), or Lake Grassmere, can clearly be seen from the summit.
The Ned has one of the best preserved areas of indigenous dry shrubland vegetation in Marlborough. Native vegetation includes a variety of dryland species, with silver tussock, Tauhinu, Mānuka and porcupine shrub among the species present. The terrain is steep, with low rainfall, with rocky outcrops near the summit. Several communications antenna are located on the summit.