A special walk through a precious southern forest.
The Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track Walk in the Fiordland National Park in the South Island of New Zealand, is tucked away in the Waitutu forest, an ancient native forest on marine terraces. The Waitutu Forest was famously described by botanist Professor David Bellamy as ‘probably the most important forest in the world’.
This guided walk over moderate terrain is in the heart of south-west New Zealand’s Te Wahipounamu area — a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The nearest town is scenic Tuatapere on the mighty Waiau River. One of its best features: a lovely domain featuring tranquil native bush walks.
Mountains, rivers, birdlife, and virgin podocarp forests abound. Come and enjoy one of New Zealand’s wildest and most beautiful areas.
3 days / 3 nights
Above average level of fitness. Walk 20kms, Bike 45kms. Formed tracks and roads with average to steep inclines at times.
Walks depart every Friday November-April.
Tuatapere to Okaka Lodge
A scenic helicopter ride over Te Waewae Bay delivers you to the start of your walk. You will climb up to the top of the Hump Ridge, experiencing our beautiful bush first hand as it changes dramatically with elevation as you head up the ridge to the Stag Point where the trees part and you are welcomed by the beautiful bay once more – this time from a different perspective.
Not far to the top of the ridge now and on a nice day you can see many of our neighbouring islands off the South Coast 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 and of course, take a hot shower.
You will feel at home with our lodge managers’ home cooking and hospitality.
Okaka Lodge to Port Craig Lodge
Port Craig Lodge
After breakfast you wander down the Hump Ridge, with 360 degree views of Te Waewae bay, the South Coast, Waitutu terraces and mountains behind them.
While you are walking over the 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 1920’s.
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 spy our resident Hector’s dolphins who live at the old wharf poles in the surf.
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.
Port Craig Lodge to Tuatapere
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.
Modern Backcountry Lodges
Our modern backcountry lodges at Okaka and Port Craig are in superb locations.
At almost 1000m, Okaka Lodge is the highest point on the track. Port Craig lodge, at sea level, offers trampers the chance to soak weary limbs in the Southern Ocean. During summer season, both lodges are fully equipped with:
Each Lodge is fully wheelchair accessible and has been built and are run in conjunction with our commitment to sustainability.
Lodge Bar & Shop
Both Lodges also have a licensed bar and shop where you can buy a range of New Zealand wine and beer, as well as snacks, refreshments and dehydrated meal pouches. Take some cash or a credit card with you (sorry, no EFTPOS available)
We stock a selection of beers and wines. As our liquor licence is an “on-licence”, it is not permitted to “Bring Your Own”, you must purchase all alcoholic beverages from our bar.
Both Lodges hold stocks of the following products for sale:
Please Note: Contents of the shop may change from time to time.
Deposit Payable: 25% of the price.
If a client wishes to cancel a booking for any reason, including medical, the cancellation must be forwarded in writing and the following refund values will be applied:
1. 56 days or more from departure date – 25% of the tour cost;
2. 42 to 55 days from departure date – 50% of the tour cost; and
3. 41 days or less – no refund will be given.
Tuatara Tours recommends that the client take out cancellation insurance together with all other necessary travel and medical insurances.
Obtaining all necessary insurances is the responsibility of you the client and Tuatara Tours cannot be held liable for any failure on your part to get insurance.
Fully catered with cooked breakfasts, packed lunches and three course dinners. Snacks and fresh fruit also provided.
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 and are the very best people to ensure your experience will be one to remember.
To ensure maximum safety for all, our guides are certified first aiders. Tuatara Tours operate under a Safety and Risk Management Plan which is regularly audited and approved by a qualified and independent auditor.