The Greenstone or Caples valleys may each be walked in three days, or can be combined in a loop taking five to six days.
Starting from The Divide, walk along the Routeburn Track to Lake Howden, and then turn south towards the Greenstone Valley. From Lake McKellar the Greenstone Valley may be followed, or alternatively, the Upper Caples Valley may be reached by a steep climb to McKellar Saddle (1005m). The Greenstone and Caples river systems then run parallel with each other before joining and flowing into Lake Wakatipu.
There are two huts in each valley and camping is permitted. Bus transport is available from the Greenstone car park to Glenorchy and must be pre-booked. Tracknet transport is available to or from The Divide daily during the Summer Season, in Winter pre-booking is essential and minimum numbers may apply.
Allow up to ten days. Trampers can start at either Lake Manapouri or Lake Hauroko. A regular boat service runs on Lake Manapouri, but the boat service on Lake Hauroko must be pre-arranged. Floatplane or helicopter access to Supper Cove is an alternative option. This track is suitable for fit, experienced and well-equipped parties – it crosses two alpine passes and can flood after heavy rain. All parties must carry a portable stove, as dry firewood is scarce at all hut sites. There are eight huts on the Dusky Track.
The Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track is New Zealand’s newest Track and provides a wide variety of scenery during the three-day / two night walking experience. The Southern Coastal Track begins at Bluecliffs Beach near Tuatapere and four days are required to reach Big River. Some of the highlights are the Waitutu Forest, the Port Craig schoolhouse and four wooden viaducts, relics from timber milling times. There are four huts in the area.
The Rakiura Track is a 29 kilometre, three day tramping track suitable for anyone with moderate fitness. It can be walked year round, in either direction. Times are approximate only and will vary according to fitness, pace of group and direction of travel.
The circuit is a good introduction to the scenery of Stewart Island. It follows the open coast, climbs over a 300 metre high forested ridge, and traverses the sheltered shores of Paterson Inlet. It passes sites of historical interest and introduces many of the common sea and forest birds of the Island. Parts of it crosses Maori land and access is courtesy of the owners.
Access to Stewart Island is by regular air flights from lnvercargill or a ferry service from Bluff. Halfmoon Bay, the Island’s only settlement has a general store, Department of Conservation visitor centre, hotel, motel, lodge, and backpacker accommodation as well as cafes. The track effectively starts and finishes in Halfmoon Bay though the first sections are on road.
Equipment hire and car storage is available while you are on the Tracks. Hut tickets must be booked through the Department of Conservation before you book your transport. For details about other Tracks, please contact the Department of Conservation.