Heaphy Track | South Island, NZ, 2010

Distance :  48.5 miles (78 km)img_3112

Avg. Time :  3 or 4 days

Start / Finish :

  • Brown Hut / Kohaihai Camping Ground
  • For information on getting to and from the trailheads, see the NZ Department of Conservation (DOC) website.

Season :

  • Year round. Probably best in February/March after the kids have gone back to school.

Maps / Info :

  • See the DOC website for a basic map (all you need) and up-to-date information on the walk.
  • The Lonely Planet guide Tramping in New Zealand has a map and trekking notes.

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Route / Conditions :

  • As with all designated Great Walks, the Heaphy Track is well marked and easy to follow.
  • Personally speaking, the coastal section from Heaphy hut to Kohaihai was the scenic highlight. The crashing waves, the palm-fringed beaches, the sub-tropical forest……wonderful hiking.
  • To avoid some of the crowds, consider walking late in the afternoons or very early in the mornings.
  • Note that the sandflies around Heaphy and Lewis Huts can be ferocious. Don’t forget the insect repellent and head net.

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Sleeping :

  • Huts or camping. Due to its status as a Great Walk, all accommodation on the Heaphy needs to be booked in advance. Note that camping places are virtually always available.
  • Scenery-wise, Mackay hut is the pick of the bunch.

Overview :

  • Whilst not as spectacular as some of the other Great Walks, the Heaphy’s appeal lies primarily in its diversity. From west to east, hikers traverse rainforests, podocarp forests, alpine tussock country and beech forests.

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