Hole in the Hill Guide

==the cj way++

The CJ way Guide to Hole in the Hill

 AT A GLANCE 

An incredible (and somewhat hidden!) arch

Located in Charleston

30 minute walk one way (from parking)

Medium access (definitely one to avoid after rain)

Free

Best time to visit: early afternoon or late morning and when there has been no rain.

Hiking boots/gumboots/watershoes required

 WHERE IS THIS EXACTLY? 

  • Coordinates of the arch: -41.951586, 171.476320 

  • Coordinates of parking (enough room for approximately 3-4 vehicles): -41.955553, 171.475469

  • The road (Four Mile Road) out to this beautiful wee gem is a bit rough and probably deemed a 4WD track. It is also very narrow and there are quite a few overhanging branches. We did it in Vinnie and survived, but took it very slowly. The road is 5.5km long (from the highway) and took us about 25 minutes. Again, we took it very slow haha. At the start (I think about 500m in from the highway) there will be a sign saying the road is not maintained past this point.

  • After driving the 5.5km (hooray!) you will come across a small parking lot on the left (slightly down a wee hill). This has enough space for about four vehicles and is not signposted. The (super duper muddy) track is to the right if you are looking down at the parking area. 

  • You follow this muddy path for about 10-12 minutes and then cut left. Thankfully locals have kindly put markers along this path, otherwise it would likely be too difficult to navigate. The markers are pink ribbons and white spray-paint and you will want to spot one before turning left to ensure you're on the right track.

  • From there, you start heading down the hill for another 10-15 minutes (14 mins for us) until you reach the creek right at the bottom. Taking care, you cross the creek to the other side (again looking for markers) and go up the hill and down again, until you reach the creek once more. After five minutes or so, you will look up and be faced with the most incredible structure. 

 best time to visit? 

  • Early afternoon/late morning for soft light, preferably on a sunny day! 

  • When there hasn't been rain recently (otherwise the 'track' will be far too slippery/hectic!!)

  • You may also want to visit when there is minimal wind (the arch acts as a wind tunnel so we would imagine it would be pretty unbearable on a windy day) 

 cj travel tips 

  • You are going to get super duper muddy on the way out here, we wore our water shoes and came back with them completely brown

  • If you have a GPS (or even just use a fitness tracker on your phone) you might like to turn this on at the start of the walk so you can be sure you don't get lost on the way back (happened to us a couple of times).

  • Pack a picnic and stay down in the arch for a couple of hours. It's a place you won't want to rush. 

 cj photography tips 

  • If you get bright light shining through the chasm, take multiple exposures for blending later!

  • We used the Orton effect in processing to soften the image, in particular the tree leaves and branches. If you like this effect, use google and youtube to learn how it's done. 

 what we found useful to pack 

​In addition to the usuals (camera gear, suitable clothing, water and food, first aid, etc.) we found the following items useful:

  • Water shoes or gumboots

  • Wind proof layer for down in the arch

  • First-aid kit and personal locator beacon (you won't have any service out here).