This is South Island wilderness at her finest. Welcome to New Zealand’s newest walking track - 53 kilometres of pure fiordland magic.
The Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track on the south-east of the Fiordland National Park is a 53-kilometre circuit. It dominates the landscape from Lake Hauroko to Te Wae Wae Bay. It has commanding views of the south coast, Lake Poteriteri, Lake Hauroko and mountain ranges deep in Fiordland, so incorporates beautiful sub-alpine and coastal scenery with bush.
Surreal sandstone towers loom on 13 marine coastal terraces in the Waitutu Forest, which Dr David Bellamy described as "probably the most important forest in the world". It rises out of the sea, with each level 100,000 years older than the last.
The walk is moderate, requiring a good level of fitness. You need to carry your own gear over rough uneven surfaces, climbing and descending. It's a three-day walk, with two nights in self-contained huts along the way.
Some of the unique things to be seen are hector dolphins in Te Wae Wae Bay, marine terraces of pristine beech and podocarp forests, alpine backdrops and settings, rocky peaks and small mountain lakes, historic viaducts and some of the most spectacular sunrises and sunsets anywhere on earth.
The track has recently been made more user-friendly, without spoiling any of the "roughing it" experience.
Track upgrading has resulted in less mud, which makes easier walking. There are now three packages catering for different categories of walker. The hut kitchens now include all crockery and cooking equipment.
On the south island of New Zealand
Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track three-night all-inclusive guided tours cost around $1050 per person.
Qantas flies daily to Auckland, with connections to Queenstown starting at $612 from Sydney, $616 from Brisbane, $617 from Melbourne, $1053 from Perth, $1084 from Adelaide and $1303 from Darwin, per person. Prices include charges/taxes and are current at time of writing but may vary at time of booking. Seasonal surcharges and conditions apply.
Please note prices are valid at time of filming.
Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track Trust
PO Box 21 Tuatapere
Southland New Zealand
Ph: 0011 64 3 226 6739
Toll free: 1800 331 582www.humpridgetrack.co.nz
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