The Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track offers an amazing wilderness walking experience. Located in the south-west corner of New Zealand’s South Island the track runs through 55km of pristine and unspoiled wilderness. In the company of experienced guides you’ll walk through a diverse range of World Heritage landscapes from sub-alpine wilderness to sea-level views including coastal terraces in the Waitutu Forest, described as “probably the most important forest in the world” by Dr David Bellamy. On top of the Hump Ridge itself you will get panoramic views of Stewart Island, Lake Poteriteri, Lake Hauroko and mountain ranges found deep in Fiordland National Park. A helicopter will transfer your luggage ahead on day 1 and also provide you with a spectacular transfer across Te Waewae Bay offering an opportunity to spot the rare Hectors dolphins. At the end of each day, relax with a glass of wine in the superb backcountry lodges and enjoy a hot shower and delicious three-course meals.
A moderate to high level of fitness is required to complete this walk. If you are not a regular walker we suggest you begin a daily walking regime 6-8 weeks before departure. Gradually increasing the distance you walk, carrying a backpack. Staircase or hill-climbing is strongly recommended as on the first day of the walk you climb over 800m. The track surfaces vary from smooth well-formed paths to rough terrain broken by rocks and tree roots. We therefore recommend you wear hiking boots, which provide firm ankle support. If you feel your fitness is not up to the required level for the climb on the first day we can offer you the option of flying by helicopter to the Lodge at Okaka, for an additional cost.
The Tracknet bus departs from The Station, on the corner of Shotover and Camp Street in Queenstown at 10.45am. When you arrive in Te Anau you will transfer to the Hump Ridge Track shuttle. The shuttle will take you to the Track Office where you will meet your guide and fellow hikers for a tour briefing, drinks and nibbles at 5:30pm. Check into your accommodation. You will be free to make your own dinner arrangements.
A scenic helicopter ride over Te Waewae Bay delivers you to the start of your walk. You will gradually climb up to the top of the Hump Ridge (1000m), experiencing our beautiful native forest and its stunning diversity which changes dramatically with elevation. Heading straight up the ridge you will eventually reach Stag Point, where the trees part and you are welcomed by views of the beautiful bay once more - this time from a different perspective. From here it’s only an hour or so to the lodge, and on clear days you will be able to see Stewart Island and of course the Fiordland mountains and lakes nearby. When you arrive at Okaka, our lodge ‘on top of the world,’ all you will have to do is unwind as you admire the views. You'll feel instantly at home with our lodge manager’s home cooking and hospitality. 5-6 hrs walking
After breakfast you wander down the Hump Ridge, with 360 degree views of Te Waewae Bay, Stewart Island, the South Coast, Waitutu terraces and Fiordland mountain ranges. While you are walking over 2 mighty wooden viaducts on the way to Port Craig Village, consider the men who built them almost a century ago. Our guide will share many stories from the days when Port Craig was a bustling sawmill town in the 1920s.
If you are interested in the history and relics that surround Port Craig, choose to take the interpretive trail or just meander down to the beach and spot our resident Hector’s dolphins who live in the bay. Awaiting you at the lodge, our friendly lodge manager will welcome you to your room and you can put your feet up and once again enjoy their hospitality while taking in your new coastal backdrop. 7-9 hrs walking
To complete the track, you will first walk out under native bush canopy, then along our beautiful golden beaches - one named Blowholes because of the ring of rocks the waves blow up though as they come to shore - a spectacular finish to a fantastic trip! Walk back along the section you flew over on day one, and enjoy it once again but at beach level. 5-7 hrs walking
At the end of the walk you will transfer to Tuatapere to meet the 3.00pm bus back to Te Anau. Here you will transfer to the Tracknet Bus departing at 5:00pm for Queenstown, arriving at approximately 7:45pm.
Per Person, Twin Share