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Mavora Walkway, Southland

The magnificent Mavora Lakes is a landscape par excellence, resonating an archetype of New Zealand mountain scenery.

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 the Te Araroa Trail.

Over 3-4 days, the track follows the shore of North Mavora Lake and heads along the plains of the Mararoa River before entering mature red beech forest and following the Pass Burn to the Greenstone Valley. This is an easy tramp – the landscape is very forgiving, height gain is minimal and the track and vehicle trails are easy to follow – yet set amidst the fantastic landscape of the Livingstone and Thomson mountains there is space, grandeur and peace in abundance.

Although you can drive to North Mavora Lake, it is best to start at the swingbridge over the Mararoa River, downstream of South Mavora Lake. This gives a better appreciation of the pristine and exceptionally beautiful red beech forest that crowds the lake’s southern and western shores.

There are several huts to break the journey – Careys, Boundary, and Taipo, all quite small at 4-6 bunks. There are two additional campsites, one at each of the lakes.

Once the Greenstone is reached, Greenstone Hut provides accommodation before you consider your options for carrying on down to Elfin Bay on Lake Wakatipu, or up the Greenstone and over The Divide to the Milford Road.

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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
Mavora Lakes Road off SH94

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