Posted this day in 2014. (Oh, I wish I were there again. I am going to miss Fiordland this year. Hopefully I enjoy Scotland as much!)
‘The Fiordland South Coast Track is so much better than the similarly named South Coast Track in Tasmania. You can have a number of different trips there.
What will best suit most is a jet boat ride down the Wairaurahiri River staying either at the Wairaurahiri Hut or at the Waitutu Lodge ($30/night + hot showers). From the Lodge you can spend a few days exploring the bush and the sea, perhaps venturing on to the Waitutu or Big Rivers. Then you can walk back staying the first night perhaps at the Percy Burn Hut (where there is an enormous timber viaduct built from Australian hardwood c1920!) or at the Port Craig Hut, or the (new) Port Craig Village – where you can enjoy hot showers and BOOZE for twin share $100/night.
It is 6 ½ hours walk back (from Port Craig) to the Rarakau carpark just out of Tuatapere (you can arrange with the jet boat people to be picked up from the car park). It is 5 ½ hours walk along the beach only if the tide is low with some scrambling over rocks. You can break your walk with a camp on the grassy edge of Blowholes Beach (approximately half way).
On the way out to Westies there are two routes from the Wairaurahiri. You can follow the old Telegraph line track (the official trail) or walk the hunter’s path along the coast to the Crombie Stream which you cross then walk up the ridge ta rejoin the main track. After the Angus Burn you can divert down to the Long Point Hut (and lighthouse) instead of going straight on to the Waitutu. Leaving the Waitutu you can again follow the Telegraph line track or walk along the beach (at least as far as the Aarn River, or the next stream). Westies is a visual and experiential feast, a once-in-a-lifetime experience (though I have plans to make it more than that!).
You can (if you are very intrepid) push on along the beach or through the bush after Westies Hut (in a sea cave after Big River) all the way to Puysegur Point lighthouse on Preservation inlet. There is a hut there at Te Oneroa from which you can explore the C19th ruins of the gold mining town of Cromarty. You can fly out by float plane from here (or stay at the luxury Kisbee resort there – if you are exceptionally well-heeled!)
After the Waitutu River you can push on up the Waitutu River to the hut on the Slaughter Burn and onwards to Lake Poteriteri, thence to Teal Bay on Lake Hauroko and on to the Lake Hauroko car park where again you can be picked up by the jet boat operators, or loop back down the Hump Ridge track to rejoin the South Coast Track once more. there are many options, many possible adventures’
Port Craig Schoolhouse.
Other Fiordland Posts