Heaphy Track // Great Walk
- Duration: 4 Days (approx.)
- Location: West Coast
- Product code: GW-2003
BOOK NOW // Bookings go live for the High Season June 11th, 9:30am. By booking and leaving a deposit now, Bushman Tours will aim to book this track for you on your desired dates.
Of all the Great Walks, this ancient Māori trail offers the biggest contrast. Ranging from lush forests, grasslands and mountain ranges to the roaring West Coast sea, Nikau Palms and limestone arches. The Kahurangi National Park is famous for the abundance of caves, bluffs, natural arches and contains the largest cave system in New Zealand. Keep an eye out for the great spotted Kiwi and Takahe and the nocturnal, carnivorous land snail! Apart from unique wildlife and breath-taking, ever-changing scenery, you’ll also find traces of the past on the Heaphy. The river mouth seen on the last day lays at the junction of two pounamu (greenstone) trails, used by Māori pounamu hunters to access the jade rivers of Westland from Golden Bay.
The trail starts with a gradual climb up to the highest point of the track, offering panoramic views across the Aorere Valley. A deep swimming hole next to the first hut is the perfect spot for a refreshing swim! There is plenty to explore on the second day, while you slowly descend towards Gouland Downs. Explore numerous caves and waterfalls around a limestone outcrop, before hiking through flat tussock country and bush flats. On the third day you’ll reach the Heaphy River, walking through a stunning rain forest of kowhai, cabbage trees and nikau palms. Have we mentioned the huge 148m suspension bridge offering views of the river? (It's an NZ must do) The last part of the track leads through native forest and also features some beautiful beach walking for those last few photos.
Yes, we organize the transfer to and from the track. Simply meet your Bushman at the Nelson I-Site and you will also be dropped off here at the end of the hike.
The Heaphy Track starts in the Tasman region and ends on the West Coast - we recommend to bring some snacks for the bus, as the drive back can take up to 3h. The stunning, contrasting scenery along the way makes up for it though, we promise!
The weather can change drastically here, especially the closer you get to the West Coast. Wind and waterproof gear is a must, as rain is possible at any time of the year. Annual rainfall averages over 4000mm! However, the cozy huts along the way are perfect to dry off after a long day of hiking and you will often have sunny and warm days in summer.How busy is the track in summer?
Although the Heaphy Track is one of the more popular Great Walks, you won't see too many crowds here. This is mainly due to the location and the advanced difficulty, making this a very special and remote back country adventure.
For more information on how to book a Great Walk with Bushman Tours over the busy period, please visit this article.
*Our starting prices include your Bushman, huts, and transport (where applicable) for a single. The cost of a single decreases the more visitors you book on this trip. However, this discount does not include the Department of Conservation's charge for each hut you stay in (per person), travel costs and food. These can be added at checkout. For more information on fees for Great Walks, visit this article.
**Due to demand from our international tourists, there is no guarantee you will get a place in a hut. In our busy periods over Christmas, you must reserve your spot on the Bushman Tours waiting list with a deposit for your huts and mandatory transport (ie the ferry to the Milford Track) only and be available to make a full purchase after this is booked on your behalf (within 14 days). Bushman Tours will act as your booking agent for these huts and secure these from the deposit you have provided. If you decide to cancel your booking after the opening dates, you will lose your deposit for the huts (Bushman Tours cannot obtain refunds for these from DOC).