East Dome, Garvie Mountains

One of Southland’s many well kept secrets, East Dome (1349m) is situated at the southern end of the Garvie Mountains, deep in sheep and cattle country. Flanked by the…

Distance
14.1km
Time
4hr to summit from saddle where car is left
Grade
Moderate

Cromel Branch Hut via Mt Bee Bunkrooms, Eyre Mountains

The first objective of our weekend getaway was Cromel Base Hut. From there, the plan was to climb to the Mt Bee Bunkrooms and then follow the ridge along…

Distance
30.1km
Time
Two days. Five Rivers homestead bridge to Cromel Base Hut, 2hr; To Cromel Branch Hut via Mt Bee Bunkrooms, 6hr; To homestead bridge, 4hr
Grade
Moderate

Teal Bay Hut via Lake Hauroko, Fiordland National Park

Hauroko, New Zealand’s deepest lake (462m), has a reputation for gale force winds. Its name means howling wind in Māori, and the lake lives up to this at times,…

Distance
12+km paddling on Lake Haurko; 4.5km walk to Pt1006
Time
Car Paddling to Teal Bay Hut, 2.5hr; Walking from hut to Pt1006, 4-6hr return
Grade
Moderate

Mt Campbell, Mavora Lakes Conservation Park

Mavora Lakes is a favourite spot for families, fishermen and trampers on the Greenstone-Mavora and Te Araroa trails. If you want to escape the sandflies and the crowds, the…

Distance
37.9km
Time
Two-three days. Mavora Lakes Campsite (north) to Boundary Hut 3.5-4hr; To Cold Peak, 2.5hr; To Mt Campbell, 5hr; To Mavora Lakes Campsite (north), 3.5hr
Grade
Difficult

Mavora Walkway, Southland

One of the best ways to see this region is on the Mavora Walkway which links the lakes to the lower Greenstone Valley. The walkway is also part of…

Time
3-4 days. Kiwi Burn access track to South Mavora Lake, 4hr; To Careys Hut, 4hr; To Boundary Hut, 2hr; To Taipo Hut, 3-4hr; To Greenstone Hut, 4hr; To Elfin Bay, 4hr
Grade
Easy

Routeburn Track, Mt Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks

Two national parks, two iconic valleys, and more stunning views, lakes and waterfalls than you can point a selfie-stick at – the Routeburn is the complete package. Starting from…

Distance
32km
Time
The Divide to Howden Hut, 90min; To Lake Mackenzie Hut, 4hr; To Routeburn Falls Hut, 5hr; To Routeburn Flats Hut, 1hr; To Routeburn Shelter, 2hr
Grade
Moderate

Kepler Track, Fiordland National Park

From the Control Gates at the outlet of Lake Te Anau, the Kepler Track skirts the shoreline of Dock Bay, passing through beech trees sporting a colourful array of…

Distance
58km
Time
3-4 days. Car park to Luxmore Hut, 5-6.5hr; To Iris Burn Hut, 5-6hr; To Moturau Hut, 5-6hr; To car park, 4-5hr
Grade
Moderate/Difficult

Rakiura Track

Beaches, birdlife and bountiful forest, the Rakiura Track is the best way to experience Stewart Island. Rakiura is known as the anchor stone of Maui’s canoe, used to secure…

Distance
32km
Time
Lee Bay to Port William Hut, 3-4hr; To North Arm Hut, 6hr; To Fern Gully car park, 4.5hr
Grade
Easy

Milford Track, Fiordland National Park

At just over 53km in length, the world-famous Milford Track is liberally endowed with some of the most spectacular natural sights of any track in the world. Walking the…

Distance
53km
Time
Glade Wharf to Clinton Hut, 1-2hr; Clinton Hut to Mintaro Hut, 6hr; Mintaro Hut to Dumpling Hut, 6-7hr; Dumpling Hut to Sandfly Point, 5-6hr
Grade
Moderate

Hope Arm Hut via Monument, Fiordland National Park

I gripped the metal chain anchored to the rock, and my fingers soon turned white. I was hot, but couldn’t let go to wipe the sweat from my brow.…

Distance
26.7km
Time
Frasers Beach to Hope Arm Hut, 3hr (1.5hr using the portages); Monument Track, 2hr return
Grade
Easy/Moderate

Mt Titiroa, Fiordland National Park

A distinctive peak in the Hunter Mountains, Mt Titiroa appears to have snow on it all year round due to the white granite sands that glisten on its summit.…

Distance
19.3km
Time
Pearl Harbour to Hope Arm Hut, 2.5hr; Hut to Bivvy at Pt1412, 5hr; Bivvy to summit, 1.5hr; Summit to Pearl Harbour, 9hr
Grade
Difficult

Serpentine Range traverse, Mt Aspiring National Park

The southern flanks of the Serpentine Range, which traverses Mt Aspiring and Fiordland national parks, include the incredible Lake Wilson and can be reached from the Routeburn Track. Head…

Distance
38.8km
Time
3-4 days
Grade
Difficult

U Pass, Fiordland National Park

Southern splendour Thousands of people drive SH94 to Milford Sound each day in the summer, but almost all drive straight past one of the most stunning tramps in Fiordland…

Distance
17.3km
Time
Car park to U Pass via Mistake Creek, 5hr; U Pass to car park via Hut Creek, 3hr
Grade
Moderate

Moturau Hut, Fiordland National Park

Moturau Hut is a place to visit at any time of the year – perhaps especially in winter when there will be fewer people – if any – walking…

Distance
5.87km
Time
2hr
Grade
Easy

Becketts Hut, Takitimu Conservation Area

Southern tussock at its finest IF YOU HAVE a taste for tussock and classic remote huts, a jaunt to Becketts Hut in the Takitimus will be right up your…

Distance
9.37km
Time
4hr to Becketts Hut
Grade
Moderate

McKellar Hut via Key Summit, Fiordland National Park

Beyond Key Summit Key Summit is one of the most popular day walks in Fiordland. It offers 360-degree panoramic views over Fiordland mountains and alpine lakes. Not many realise…

Distance
14km to hut, 23.4km loop
Time
The Divide to McKellar Hut, 8hr; McKellar Hut to The Divide via Howden Hut, 3hr
Grade
Moderate

Talbot’s Ladder, Fiordland National Park

It’s true: a ladder (of sorts) does lead to one of New Zealand’s most dramatic alpine landscapes. But don’t be deceived; while ‘Ladder’ implies a set of steep orderly…

Distance
2.39km from Homer Tunnel to the summit of McPherson
Time
4-8hr to Mt McPherson depending on conditions and time of year
Grade
Difficult

Ashton Hut, Eyre Mountains

A trip to Ashton Hut in the Eyre Mountains takes a bit of effort, but as such means it is rarely visited. After a night camping at nearby South…

Distance
9.07km
Time
5.5hr
Grade
Moderate

Princhester Hut to Aparima Hut, Takitimu Mountains

Majestic and captivating Takitimu Mountains, affectionately referred to by the locals as the Takis, are visible and easily accessible from just about anywhere in Southland. The mountains are named…

Distance
21.4km
Time
Lower Princhester Hut to Aparima Hut, 8hr; Aparima Hut to car park, 2hr
Grade
Easy/Moderate

Dusky Track, Fiordland National Park

Doing the Dusky, New Zealand’s most difficult track, is not straightforward. The 84km route is about the same length as the Heaphy, but takes twice as long due to the…

Distance
84km
Time
8-10 days
Grade
Difficult

Falls Creek, Fiordland National Park

Most people will only know Falls Creek from the impressive waterfall that fringes the Milford Road, but the route starting beside it offers excellent opportunities to explore classic Fiordland…

Distance
6.33km to lake
Time
3-4hr to rock bivouac
Grade
Moderate

Green Lake Hut via tops, Fiordland National Park

A sign at Borland Saddle describes the biggest known landslip in the world, when 27 cubic kilometres fell off the side of the Hunter Mountains some 12,000 years ago,…

Distance
12.5km
Time
8.5-11hr
Grade
Moderate

Percy Burn Hut, Fiordland National Park

Head through regrowth forest along the clifftop before a steep descent takes you on to Bluecliffs Beach. It takes a good hour to get from the Waikoau River to…

Distance
33km to Wairaurahiri River
Time
9-12hr
Grade
Easy/Moderate

Tutoko Valley Track, Fiordland National Park

This is one of the best ,underrated, trips in the area. The Tutoko Valley trail winds through virgin beech forest for several hours, not following the river but not…

Distance
4.69km
Time
3hr
Grade
Moderate

Excelsior Peak, Takitimu Conservation Area

Note: Permission from the landowner required. Contact DOC Te Anau (03) 249 7924 for details When driving the Te Anau-Mossburn Highway, your eyes are drawn to the south where…

Distance
3.94km
Time
6hr return
Grade
Moderate/Difficult

Post Office Point, Manapouri

The route to Post Office Rock in Manapouri is so little known that chances are even if you ask a local about it you’re likely to be met with…

Distance
18.2km
Time
3-3.5hr to Control Gate
Grade
Easy

Waitutu Lodge, Waitutu Forest

At the gateway of Fiordland’s rugged Waitutu Forest sits the quirky privately owned Waitutu Lodge. From here tramping west through the forest, and with a good deal of bush…

Distance
33.5km each way
Time
4 days return
Grade
Moderate

Hidden Falls Hut, Fiordland National Park

There is no shortage of tracks along the Milford Highway for those wanting to sample, in a day or two, some of the amazing bush and mountain trails on…

Distance
9.19km
Time
2-2.5hr
Grade
Easy

Lake Marian, Fiordland National Park

For reward to effort ratio, Lake Marian cannot be beaten. Deep in the Darran Mountains, sheltered in the bottom of a hanging valley, the lake beckons those who take…

Distance
2.7km
Time
3hr
Grade
Easy/Moderate

Kiwi Burn Hut Loop, Mavora Lakes Park

Located in the Mavora Lakes Park, an impressive landscape of mountains, lakes, forest and tussock grassland, recognised as part of the Te Wahipounamu/South-West New Zealand World Heritage Area, is…

Distance
12.1km
Time
4.5-6hr
Grade
Easy

Mt Burns, Fiordland National Park

From Borland Saddle climb the narrow track that goes south over a mesh of stout roots and windfall to the tree line. Head up the ridge on a poled…

Distance
9.55km
Time
6-7hr
Grade
Easy/Moderate

Aparima Huts, Takitimu Conservation Area

A new route down the western fringes of the Waterloo Burn and to Aparima Huts has been put in as part of the length-of-New Zealand track, Te Araroa Trail.…

Distance
30.9km
Time
2 days
Grade
Moderate

U Pass, Fiordland National Park

From the car park, the track descends through the forest towards the Eglinton River, which is crossed on a walkwire. Soon after the track splits to provide access to…

Distance
17.3km
Time
10-13hr
Grade
Moderate

Upper Oreti Hut, Oreti Valley

An easy 4WD track leads up Oreti Valley to the hut. A short diversion to Lincoln Biv a further 40-minutes away, or a longer trip up Ashton Burn to…

Distance
5.87km
Time
1-2hr
Grade
Easy

Shallow Bay Hut, Fiordland National Park

Cross the suspension bridge over the Waiau River into Fiordland National Park to meet up with the wide, flat Kepler Track Great Walk. The track follows the Waiau for…

Distance
4.81km
Time
1-2hr
Grade
Easy

Back Valley Hut, Fiordland National Park

An easy trip with barely 100m height gain over 6km. The track is in generally good condition with tree roots keeping concentration levels up. From the hut you can…

Distance
6.44km
Time
2-3hr
Grade
Easy