Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track Information

Image courtesy of Venture Southland Image courtesy of Venture Southland
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Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track Information

The acclaimed Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track is one of New Zealand’s newest epic walking adventures. The track is a 53 kilometre circuit, beginning and ending at the western end of Te Waewae Bay in Southland. You need to allow four days to complete the track; comfortable hikers’ huts provide accommodation and cooking facilities along the way.

The track passes through forest and sub-alpine settings before returning to spectacular coastline and open beaches.

You’ll see a striking series of rock towers standing above fields of tussock and alpine herbs. You'll also discover the terraced Waitutu forest, a highlight of the track. Described by botanist David Bellamy as "probably the most important forest in the world" – it rises out of the sea in terraces, with each level 100,000 years older than the last.

Four huge wooden viaducts are another memorable feature of the track. These were built of Australian hardwood in the early 1920s to open up the western Southland forests to logging. The viaduct at Percy Burn (36 metres high and 125 metres long) is the largest surviving wooden viaduct in the world.

Along the coastal sector of the track you can hope to encounter kea (mountain parrots), fur seals, penguins and rare Hector’s dolphins cavorting in the waves. Mornings at Port Craig Hut start with a chorus of tui and bellbird song.

The Hump Ridge Track is open all the year round for guided or self-guided walkers, but most people choose to tackle this expedition during the warmer months. Bookings are essential.


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