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Old Ghost Road Walk

In the North West corner of the South Island of New Zealand a ghost has awakened.

You must carry your own pack for 5 days of this tour. Please keep this in mind when you are packing your gear.

A long-forgotten gold miners’ road has been revived as a mountain biking and tramping trail – connecting the old dray road in the Lyell (Upper Buller Gorge) to the mighty Mokihinui River in the north.

Our 6-day package includes 4 nights in huts along the trail and a final night enjoying lodge accommodation on the wild West Coast.

We can tailor a package to suit your requirements and have other adventure options available to enhance your tour.

Join us, to remember the history as we pass old ghost towns along the way. The Old Ghost Road (85kms) leads us through native forest, open tussock tops, river flats and forgotten valleys- an outdoor museum!

Tour Type

Walking Tour


6 days / 5 nights




Book now for Next Season!

Secure your places now for next summer!

  • Last remaining spaces on 13 Feb 2022-enquire now

Do you have a date in mind?

We can build a tour especially for your group, please enquire for dates available.

Tour Itinerary

Price: NZ$1990

Day 1

Lyell to Lyell Saddle Hut

17.5 km

Lyell Saddle Hut

We will collect you from your accommodation and drive to Lyell car park in the Upper Buller Gorge.

Beginning our walk with a steady climb along the 100+ year old dray road, we will enjoy views across the stunning Lyell Range and pass through beautiful mature beech forest.

We observe relics of old gold mining claims and ghost towns on our way up to Lyell Saddle Hut (875m above sea level).

Day 2

Lyell Saddle Hut to Ghost Lake Hut

12 km

Ghost Lake Hut

The morning commences with a graded climb through forest up to the tussock tops of the Lyell Range and onto ‘Ghost Lake’ and the unique Ghost Lake Hut.

Amazing views and magical mountainous vistas surround us. We will observe an enormous diversity of sub-alpine herbs, grasses, bog plants and mosses in this fragile ecosystem.

Day 3

Ghost Lake Hut to Stern Valley Hut

13 km

Stern Valley Hut

Departing from Ghost Lake Hut we trek down through the ancient moss covered beech forest and traverse ridge tops marvelling at the Dr Seuss-like ‘Skyline Steps’.

Making our way down to our evening accommodation at Stern Valley Hut we enjoy dramatic descents.

Day 4

Stern Valley Hut to Specimen Point Hut

25 km

Specimen Point Hut

This morning we explore the Earnest Valley (northern branch of Stern Creek).

After the twin lakes (Lake Grim and Lake Cheerful), we discover the iconic ‘Boneyard’, moving onto ‘Solemn Saddle’ and ‘The Hanging Judge’.

Scrub and grass covered valleys lead to the historic Goat Creek Hut and onto podocarp forest.

Our destination is Specimen Point hut which is located at the head of the Mokihinui River Gorge.

Day 5

Specimen Point Hut to Westport

17 km

Lodge Style Accommodation

The Old Ghost Road picks up the old miners’ track following the left bank of the mighty Mokihinui River gorge.

A magnificent river still wild and untamed!

While enjoying the privilege of this wilderness our trek ends in lodge style accommodation with West Coast hospitality to celebrate!

Day 6

Westport to Nelson

We will deliver you back to Nelson approximately 3.30 pm.

Our route will take you down the Northern West Coast to Westport, then through the picturesque Buller Gorge.

We will be stopping at Murchison before arriving at Nelson airport or your preferred destination.

What's included?


DOC huts on nights 1,2,3 and 4. Price includes all your hut passes

We can arrange your accommodation for you in Richmond pre & post tour at a price and style which suits you.

Includes quality accommodation in Westport on Night 5 – superior en suite (twin share) in Westport with breakfast included (single surcharge $50).



Price includes all food.

We endeavor to use fresh food and showcase the region’s finest produce, and we offer varied menus from day to day.


An experienced and fully qualified guide



Includes scenic drive to and from Nelson. We will get you back to Motueka or Nelson on your last day, unless your option is to carry on down the West Coast.


Access and Concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation


NZ Goods and Service Tax (GST)


Safety and Risk Management

To ensure maximum safety for all, our guides are certified first aiders and fully qualified drivers. Tuatara Tours operate under a Safety and Risk Management Plan which is regularly audited and approved by a qualified and independent auditor.

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