The Kepler Track

Walking the ridge on the Kepler Track

The Kepler Track

The Kepler track in Fiordland National Park in Southland, is one of New Zealand's most accessible 'Great Walks'. It begins near the small town of Te Anau, and boasts beautiful forests, unique wetlands, waterfalls and alpine mountain scenery. It is a 60Km loop track (although we found out the mileage varies depending upon which brochure you read) and you'll climb to 1400m at the highest point.

DoC classify it as a 'moderate/easy' 3-4 day tramping track. We walked...

Continue Reading

Sugarloaf, Rockburn and Lake Sylvan Loop

Dart sugarloaf Pass track

Sugarloaf, Rockburn and Lake Sylvan loop

This is a great little 15Km hike in Mount Aspiring National Park. It takes in the Sugarloaf Pass via the Sugarloaf track, then heads down the Rockburn track to the old Rockburn shelter site. Finally it picks up the Sylvan track around Lake Sylvan and back to the Sylvan DoC campsite. Apart from the initial 650m climb, it is a moderate (I didn't find it too easy nor difficult) loop trail, and I made it in a 7 hour day. DoC rate it as an...

Continue Reading

The Gillespie Pass Circuit

The Gillespie Pass Circuit

If you're looking for a fantastic multi day tramp with beautiful dense forest, mountains galore, wide valleys, rivers and a beautiful lake, then the 58Km Gillespie Pass Circuit in Mount Aspiring National Park might be for you. It begins close to Makarora, a small settlement an hours' drive to the North of Wanaka.

The Gillespie Pass circuit is a loop track. You can start just South of Makarora up the Wilkin river, or from a few Kms North of Makarora up...

Continue Reading

The Heaphy Track

beach Heaphy Katipo

The Heaphy Track

Located across the Kahurangi National Park in New Zealand's upper South island, the Heaphy Track spans the Nelson/Tasman and West Coast districts. It is one of New Zealand's 10 'great walks', which DoC describe as their 'premier' tracks. Generally these tracks are easy to follow and well graded, and take you through some of the most spectacular wilderness scenery New Zealand has to offer.

Note that on the great walks you must pre-book your accommodation, and...

Continue Reading

Ten Te Araroa Trail Truths

Ten Te Araroa Trail Truths

1. Where there are no sandflies, there are mosquitoes.
2. There will be a river crossing (and wet feet) ten mins after you set off in the morning and ten mins before arriving at camp for the night.
3. Where there is a shortcut, there will be thorny bushes.
4. The ‘flat’ part of the trail will hide large ruts, holes, bogs, streams or boulders.
5. Injuries will only be sustained on the ‘easy’ sections, tripping over your own feet or checking your phone.
6. If your camp has a toilet, you will need to go approximately 15 mins after hitting the trail that day.
7. You haven’t washed properly for weeks, but your skin looks amazing.
8. When you skinnydip in a river, four more TA hikers will arrive at that very moment.
9. Mice are rampant in the hut where you forgot to hang up your food bag.
10. You’ll find that the luxury lodge offers cheap camping & free hot tubs, the day after you wild camped next to it.

Te Araroa Trail Day 135. Hamilton hut 2232.6kms – Trustpower campsite 2250.9kms – Methven

Te Araroa Trail Day 135 - Towards Lake Coleridge

I had probably the best night's sleep I've ever had in a hut last night! Even though we had about 15 people, there were no snorers and no mice!! Everyone got up around 6.45am and Mike, Phil and I left around 8am.

Today was another day of beech forest and walking down the Harper river valley. The trail notes mentioned that we could stay on the true left of the river for most of the way, only crossing at the end - but the path ended on the left within 30 mins of us starting. This meant we...

Continue Reading