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Overview
For dates, availability & customisations Enquire

Heaphy Track

Start:NelsonTours run:November - April
End:Nelson
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moderate grade
Duration:6 days/6 nights
US$1,342.96
excl GST
Hiking

New Zealand Hiking Tours

What Makes Our Heaphy Track Walk So Special?

 
  • We provide pick up and delivery from Nelson.
  • We include accommodation in both Karamea and Takaka – allowing you some time to experience 2 very remote and special places.
  •  We stop for a cup of tea or coffee (on us!) at the historic Langford Store before we hit the trail.
  •  Our meal menu is varied and prepared with fresh food. (Vegetarian options also available)
  •  We take a digital camera with us, and at the end of the walk everyone receives a CD made up of our best Heaphy shots and the photos we have taken of the trip.
  •  Everyone receives a ‘Certificate of Completion’ to show off to your friends.
  •  We drive back to Nelson through Westport and the scenic Buller Gorge, and describe the interesting scenery on the way (including Denniston, the scene of the book Denniston Rose).







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Beauty That Can Never Be Tamed



 

The Heaphy Track at the top of the South is one of 9 official New Zealand Great Walks, and is considered by many to be the most beautiful.

Sometimes wild and lonely, sometimes lush and scenic, the track covers 78 km from Collingwood in Golden Bay, to Karamea on the West Coast. There’s pounding surf, rivers, rimu forest, tussock land, stunning nikau palms, and classic back country huts.

Walk with an expert local guide in this beautiful part of the country.The bird life features a roll call of New Zealand’s iconic birds, including kiwi, alpine parrots (kea), rare whistling blue ducks (whio), moreporks (owls/ruru) and bellbirds.


Itinerary button
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Dates For Next Summer

2016
  • October 8
  • December 11
2017
  • February 14
  • March 10
We can build a tour especially for you or your group.
btn enquire

 
Heaphy download


Dates and Availability?

Tours run:November - April
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Customisations?

We can customise tours to suit.

Nicky

nickylge

Hamish

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Enquire

Itinerary & Map

For dates, availability & customisations Enquire

New Zealand Hiking Tours

What Makes Our Heaphy Track Walk So Special?

 
  • We provide pick up and delivery from Nelson.
  • We include accommodation in both Karamea and Takaka – allowing you some time to experience 2 very remote and special places.
  •  We stop for a cup of tea or coffee (on us!) at the historic Langford Store before we hit the trail.
  •  Our meal menu is varied and prepared with fresh food. (Vegetarian options also available)
  •  We take a digital camera with us, and at the end of the walk everyone receives a CD made up of our best Heaphy shots and the photos we have taken of the trip.
  •  Everyone receives a ‘Certificate of Completion’ to show off to your friends.
  •  We drive back to Nelson through Westport and the scenic Buller Gorge, and describe the interesting scenery on the way (including Denniston, the scene of the book Denniston Rose).






The Heaphy Track


Beauty That Can Never Be Tamed

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Join us on the Heaphy Track for one of New Zealand's Department of Conservation Great Walks.

You'll cross 78 km of the Kahurangi National Park ('Kahurangi' in Maori means 'treasured possession').

All around you: the distinctive native nikau palms unique to the northern South Island and southern North Island.

 
Heaphy Track Tour Map
largemap
You'll stay in comfortable trampers' huts and be lulled to sleep with birdsong. The walk is fully guided, so walk, relax, and enjoy!
 


Day 1: Nelson to Takaka

Pickup in Nelson, drive to Golden Bay (approximately 2 hours) and stay the night at Annie’s Nirvana Lodge (all included in price). A chance to explore the shops, galleries, and restaurants of Takaka’s eclectic main street.

 

 

Day 2: Takaka to Perry Saddle Hut 

We drive from Takaka to Collingwood (30 kms) and then on up the Aorere Valley (another 30 kms) stopping en route for a complimentary tea or coffee at the historic Langford Store. The road stops at Browns Hut, the first hut of the track, but we don’t stop here. Our first night is at Perry Saddle Hut (26 bunks), a 5 hour walk with a 700m altitude gain. 

The wide, well-graded track climbs gently up through the bush, giving views of Mt. Olympus and the thick bush of the Aorere Valley, and on a fine day it is possible to see Mt. Taranaki in the distance.
 


 

Day 3: Perry Saddle Hut  to Saxon Hut

An easier day, with only 4 hours walking. The track goes through patches of beech forest before the wide expanse of the tussock covered Gouland Downs comes into view.

The track meanders down to Cave Brook, passing the famous ‘boot pole’ on which trampers over the years have tied their old boots. Then we come to a limestone outcrop, with caves and waterfalls. We visit the oldest hut on the track, the Gouland Downs Hut, then continue on the flatter part of the Downs to Saxon Hut (16 bunks).

 


Day 4: Saxon Hut to Lewis Hut

The longest day of the walk, made up of a morning 3- 4 hour walk to McKay Hut and another in the afternoon. The track crosses the Saxon River flats, then onto the broad ridge between the McKay and Gouland Downs, passing an old pole marking the boundary between the Nelson and West Coast provinces. 

The vegetation varies between tussock and shrub fringed beech forests, and we get views of the ocean in the distance. We have a leisurely lunch at McKay Hut and then begin the long gentle descent (downhill all the way), with the temperature getting warmer as we descend down towards the coast. 

The bush is ever changing from the alpine scrub to taller and taller trees and the welcoming sight of the tree ferns and lowland forest. We stay the night at the Lewis Hut (20 bunks) at the junction of the Heaphy and Lewis rivers with a good opportunity for a swim.

 


Day 5: Lewis Hut to Heaphy Hut

The easiest of the days, a leisurely walk along the river flats of the Heaphy River, with its luxuriant rainforest of kowhai, cabbage trees, and nikau and a visit to one of New Zealand’s biggest rata trees. 

In the afternoon there is the option of a swim in the lagoon, walk along the beach, or an off track visit to the very special Field’s Cave.

 We stay at the Heaphy Hut for the night (30 bunks).

 


Day 6: Heaphy Hut to Karamea

The final day is a 5 hour walk along the magical West Coast, with high cliffs, pounding seas, nikau and karaka tree forests and wild scenery.  After a few hours of walking, the distinctive cone of Kohaihai Bluff may be seen in the distance, our destination for the day*. 

At Kohaihai our vehicle is waiting (along with luggage transferred from Takaka) for the short drive into beautiful Karamea (15 minutes), where the group enjoys well-deserved hot showers and a relaxing night at The Last Resort. One night of quality lodge accommodation and breakfast at The Last Resort is included in the price. 

Here we can share a drink at the bar, enjoy an evening meal together and of course celebrate our achievements and experiences over the last 5 days together.

 


 

Day 7: Karamea to Nelson

After breakfast, we deliver you back to Nelson by 2:30pm (approximately) in time for an afternoon flight/bus or we drop you at your accommodation.

 

 

**This tour is run in conjunction with another operator.
 
Accommodation:
  • Hiking
 
Hrs, KM

Dates For Next Summer

2016
  • October 8
  • December 11
2017
  • February 14
  • March 10
We can build a tour especially for you or your group.
btn enquire

 
Heaphy download


What's Included

For dates, availability & customisations Enquire

New Zealand Hiking Tours

What Makes Our Heaphy Track Walk So Special?

 
  • We provide pick up and delivery from Nelson.
  • We include accommodation in both Karamea and Takaka – allowing you some time to experience 2 very remote and special places.
  •  We stop for a cup of tea or coffee (on us!) at the historic Langford Store before we hit the trail.
  •  Our meal menu is varied and prepared with fresh food. (Vegetarian options also available)
  •  We take a digital camera with us, and at the end of the walk everyone receives a CD made up of our best Heaphy shots and the photos we have taken of the trip.
  •  Everyone receives a ‘Certificate of Completion’ to show off to your friends.
  •  We drive back to Nelson through Westport and the scenic Buller Gorge, and describe the interesting scenery on the way (including Denniston, the scene of the book Denniston Rose).






The Heaphy Track


Accommodation

 
Night One
  • Annies Nirvana Lodge in Takaka, shared facilities.
Night Two to Five
  • Department of Conservation back country huts. Heating,long drop toilets, cold running water, no showers. Bunk beds with mattress provided, walkers carry a sleeping bag.
Night Six
  • Lodge accommodation, double or twin units with ensuite bathrooms. Licensed restaurant and house bar.
 
 

Food


You will enjoy great local cuisine; continental breakfasts and hearty packed lunches during the day, and either restaurant meals or wholesome home-cooked fare prepared by your host/hostess in the evenings.

If you have any dietary issues or food allergies, we are happy to cater for these, please advise the office of details when you make your booking.

Alcohol is not included in the tour cost, you are welcome to bring a small amount with you for personal consumption if you wish.

Dinners in Takaka and Karamea are not included in the tour cost.



Heaphy Track Tour Guides
 
 

Fully Guided


Our guides are very experienced, friendly walkers and bikers who love to share their knowledge of New Zealand’s flora and fauna and local history. They all hold current first aid certificates, passenger driving licences and are the very best people to ensure your experience will be one to remember.


 
Heaphy Track Tour Guides
Staff induction day


 
Heaphy Track Tour Guide
End of season staff function

Dates For Next Summer

2016
  • October 8
  • December 11
2017
  • February 14
  • March 10
We can build a tour especially for you or your group.
btn enquire

 
Heaphy download


Photos

For dates, availability & customisations Enquire

New Zealand Hiking Tours

What Makes Our Heaphy Track Walk So Special?

 
  • We provide pick up and delivery from Nelson.
  • We include accommodation in both Karamea and Takaka – allowing you some time to experience 2 very remote and special places.
  •  We stop for a cup of tea or coffee (on us!) at the historic Langford Store before we hit the trail.
  •  Our meal menu is varied and prepared with fresh food. (Vegetarian options also available)
  •  We take a digital camera with us, and at the end of the walk everyone receives a CD made up of our best Heaphy shots and the photos we have taken of the trip.
  •  Everyone receives a ‘Certificate of Completion’ to show off to your friends.
  •  We drive back to Nelson through Westport and the scenic Buller Gorge, and describe the interesting scenery on the way (including Denniston, the scene of the book Denniston Rose).







Dates For Next Summer

2016
  • October 8
  • December 11
2017
  • February 14
  • March 10
We can build a tour especially for you or your group.
btn enquire

 
Heaphy download


History

For dates, availability & customisations Enquire

New Zealand Hiking Tours

What Makes Our Heaphy Track Walk So Special?

 
  • We provide pick up and delivery from Nelson.
  • We include accommodation in both Karamea and Takaka – allowing you some time to experience 2 very remote and special places.
  •  We stop for a cup of tea or coffee (on us!) at the historic Langford Store before we hit the trail.
  •  Our meal menu is varied and prepared with fresh food. (Vegetarian options also available)
  •  We take a digital camera with us, and at the end of the walk everyone receives a CD made up of our best Heaphy shots and the photos we have taken of the trip.
  •  Everyone receives a ‘Certificate of Completion’ to show off to your friends.
  •  We drive back to Nelson through Westport and the scenic Buller Gorge, and describe the interesting scenery on the way (including Denniston, the scene of the book Denniston Rose).






 

The Heaphy Track


People


Golden Bay Maori travelled to central Westland for many generations, where they gathered pounamu (greenstone) for tools, weapons and ornaments.

The track is named after Charles Heaphy. In 1846, he and Thomas Brunner, were the first Europeans to traverse the track.

A gold miner named Aldridge is believed to have traversed the inland portion first in 1859. Over the following years the route was developed to a pack-track standard by prospectors.

A proposed road from Collingwood to the West Coast caused major controversy in the early 1970’s. The road never went ahead.

Near the Heaphy Hut on the bank of the Heaphy River was once a 13th to 14th century village, settled by people whose parents or grandparents could well have been born in Polynesia.

"Sections of stone paving were found at the site during excavations in the 1960s, which is extremely rare for early New Zealand archaeological sites. The site was first excavated in 1961, which is just as well because two thirds of the original site has now eroded. A team from DOC, the University of Otago, the Historic Places Trust and Ngati Waewae is recording as much of the remaining site as possible before the river reclaims it.

 
Heaphy Track Tour Wildlife
No wet feet!
moa, Heaphy Track Tour Wildlife
Moa
If sighted - please photograph (not too close) - and inform us as soon as possible
flax, Heaphy Track Tour Wildlife
NZ Flax


Flora and Fauna


Flora: The track climbs through beautiful forest dominated by red and silver beech. Tiny orchids grow on the forest floor, many of them flowering in summer. At higher levels the trees are stunted and mountain beech appears near Perry Saddle.

Beyond the saddle are the Gouland Downs; the rolling areas of red tussock with occasional patches of stunted silver beech are a spectacular sight, and somewhat eerie when the clouds lower. Flax, stunted shrubs and small herbs live among the sheltering tussocks. In boggy places, tiny sundews catch insects on sticky droplets, absorbing valuable nutrients from their quarry. Several plants found on the downs occur nowhere else, including a yellow-flowered lily and a small native foxglove.

Beyond Gouland Downs, the track travels through more tussock fields and patches of beech.

From James Mackay Hut the track passes through beech forest and then, the forest changes and the fleshy-fruited New Zealand "pine" trees - appear. Rimu is predominent, but miro, kahikatea and matai also abound.

At the Lewis River nikau palms appear.

Where the track skirts the beach the forest is very lush with many large-leaved glossy plants and vines. The cold sea runs far up the beaches and pounds the rocky points where wiry clumps of shrubs testify to the wind's strength and direction.

Fauna: Native weka, tui, bellbird, pigeon and robin can be readily seen. You may also see kea and kaka, and the blue duck. If you listen carefully you may hear the great spotted kiwi.

Long-tailed bats can be seen in the open, feeding at dusk on insects. Long-tailed bats and the rarer short-tailed bat are New Zealand's only native land mammals. Both are threatened species.

Kahurangi National Park has half of New Zealand's 40 species of carnivorous land snail (Powelliphanta). They shelter during the day and come out on damp nights to feed on native worms, which grow up to a metre long.

Deer numbers are low, while pigs (which eat Powelliphanta), goats and hares have yet to spread to the west of the park in any numbers.

Damage to forests near the track is minimal except on the West Coast, where the impact of possums on mature rata trees is becoming severe. Possums are also known to feed on native land snails.
 
rifleman, Heaphy Track Tour Wildlife
Rifleman
kakabeak, Heaphy Track Tour Wildlife
Kakabeak
bellbird3, Heaphy Track Tour Wildlife
Bellbird
 

Dates For Next Summer

2016
  • October 8
  • December 11
2017
  • February 14
  • March 10
We can build a tour especially for you or your group.
btn enquire

 
Heaphy download


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contact us

new zealand: 0800 377 378
australia: 1800 044 633
world: +64 3 962 3280
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