Find nature and history on the Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track, New Zealand's newest epic walking adventure.
The acclaimed Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track is one of New Zealand’s newest epic walking adventures, and is known for its fascinating blend of nature and heritage. Winding across some of New Zealand's wildest land, the track leads hikers through parts of Fiordland National Park, along an alpine ridge, through both ancient and regenerating forest, across Maori land and along deserted coastline.
Day 1, Rarakau car park > Okaka Lodge, 22km
The track begins and ends at the western end of Te Waewae Bay in Southland, at the Rarakau Carpark. You'll begin by walking along the clifftop and descending to the beach before crossing a swing bridge. Look out for the Hector's Dolphins that are often seen just off the beach. From here the track winds inland and up to Stag Point - where panoramic views abound. From here it is a short climb up to the summit ridge and Okaka lodge.
Day 2, Okaka Coach > Port Craig Lodge, 20km
Begin the day with a walk along the summit ridge, descending the Hump Ridge before re-entering the bush. Upon reaching sea level, you'll pass cross historic wooden viaducts before following the track of an old railway. From here, you'll shortly reach Port Craig Lodge where you can explore the remnants of the old Port Craig sawmill town. A sheltered beach is 5 minutes away; hectors dolphins visit here often and sometimes penguins or seals are spotted basking on the breakwater.
Day 3, Port Craig Lodge > Rarakau car park, 20km
Enjoy the chorus of tui and bellbird song that comes alive in the mornings at Port Craig hut. Today, the track winds through native bush before crossing the spectacular Blowholes Beach. Follow the coast and climb back to the coastal terraces and re-crossing Bluecliffs Beach to return to the carpark.
During the walk
Two private backcountry lodges are available on the Tuatapere Humpridge Track. Both sleep up to 40 people. Guests sleep in individual bunk beds or have the choice to upgrade to a room with a king size bed. The lodges both have flush toilets, heating, fully-equipped kitchens and even the option of a hot shower. Bookings are essential.
Before and after the walk
The Hump Ridge Track is open all the year round for self-guided walkers, but most people choose to tackle this expedition during the warmer months. Bookings are essential and available by contacting the Hump Ridge office.