Average 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.
- Year-round. Probably best in February and March after the kids have gone back to school.
Maps / Info:
- Online: For anything and everything pertaining to the Heaphy Track, check the DOC website (i.e. Free downloadable brochure, trail map, trekking notes, logistical details, etc.).
- Guidebook: The Lonely Planet guide Hiking & Tramping in New Zealand has a map and trekking notes for the Routeburn. Available in Kindle format.
- GPS: See Traildino for GPX data for the Heaphy.
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.
- 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.
- 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.