2 Days 36 km (return)


  • Ancient alpine landscapes
  • Naturally heated hot pools
  • Westland Tai Poutini National Park


Grade: Intermediate

This popular hike offers stunning forest, river and alpine vistas as it winds its way up the Copland Valley towards the Welcome Flat Hot Pools.

West Coast
Copland track, West Coast

Copland Track Itinerary

The start of the Copland Track is located 150m inland from where the Copland Valley is signposted on State Highway 6, 26km south of Fox Glacier. The turnoff to the car park is well sign-posted on the northern side of the Karangarua River bridge.


Carpark > Welcome Flat Hut

Beginning with a crossing of Rough Creek, the track follows orange markers through the forest, alternating from river terraces with grassy clearings to bouldery riverbed.

The bridge over Architect Creek marks the halfway point on the first day. Beyond this, the trail continues through fuchsia and ribbonwood forest towards Shiels Creek before emerging into the Welcome Flat clearing.

Spend the evening soaking in the hot pools, enjoying the modern hut facilities at the Welcome Flat DOC Hut.

7 hrs approx.


Welcome Flat Hut > Carpark

Because this is an out-and-back track, hikers spend day two retracing their steps back along the track to the carpark.

7 hrs approx.

Department of Conservation

Click the link below for more information on this trail.

Copland Track to Welcome Flat(opens in new window)

More information


  • Welcome Flat Hut is accessible year-round
  • Bookings can be completed online at the Department of Conservation website.

Best time to go

  • Summer and autumn (December through May) are great times of year to enjoy this track – snow and ice can be challenging in winter and spring.
  • Check the weather with the nearest Department of Conservation office before departing.

Safety in the outdoors: Information on how to prepare before you start exploring New Zealand's great outdoors.

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