Southland trail notes

Sections

Intro

Trampers continuing on from the Mavora Walkway can walk south down and around the North Mavora lakeshore to the swingbridge across the Mararoa River at the lake’s outlet.

From here the track is marked and sign-posted. It stays west of but proximate to the Mararoa River and then South Mavora Lake to this lake’s outlet where another swingbridge provides an alternative access point from Mavora Lakes Road. 

Description

 

Beyond this swingbridge, the track continues down the true right side of the Mararoa River to a third and final swingbridge at km 2760.8. This bridge is not easy to spot on the official Te Araroa maps as it is obscured by the 2761 km label.  The bridge aligns with another track that intersects Te Araroa and provides access to Mavora Lakes Road

Along the way a careful assessment of the trail ahead is required: if the Mararoa River can be forded safely just beyond the Kiwi Burn confluence then Te Araroa Trampers can continue down the track on the true right side to the Kiwi Burn then either divert 1.5km to the Kiwi Burn Hut, or ford the Mararoa River and continue south on the true left bank. 

If the Mararoa is not fordable then Te Araroa trampers must cross the final swingbridge at km 2760.8.

Trampers can then continue down the true left bank on the riverside of the fence and, after 3km, rejoin Te Araroa opposite the Kiwi Burn confluence.

Estimated time for 17.5 km from Mavora Lakes Campsite to Kiwi Burn Hut, including 1.5 km diversion to the hut, 5 hours.

Below the Kiwi Burn confluence, Te Araroa is marked with poles down the Mararoa’s true left bank. This is on the riverside of the fence all the way down to Wash Creek, some 16km distant. Travel is occasionally damp underfoot and a little slow through long grasses but the route improves and becomes easier in parts as progress is made.

The riverside track from south of Kiwi Burn hut ( km 2764 to 2779) is badly overgrown and difficult.  It may be advisable for southbound hikers to use anglers' trails to cross to the road and then follow Mavora Lakes Load to Wash Creek

After fording Wash Creek the route climbs to Mavora Lakes Road. Turn right onto the road and continue for 11km through to SH94. Turn right and walk - carefully - along SH94 a further 2.5km to where Te Araroa turns into Princhester Road. The Lower Princhester Hut is 6km up Princhester Road.

Estimated time for 17.5 km from Kiwi Burn Hut to Mavora Lakes Road, 5 hours.  Another 2.5 hours along the road to SH94

DOC’s Mavora Lakes Park pamphlet includes additional information on some of this trail section and the surrounding area.

There is 22km left on SH94 to Mossburn and 33km right on SH94 to Te Ānau, a pleasant lakeside town and gateway to Fiordland National Park.

Conditions

Potential hazards

  • Vehicles on road or track Take extreme care on Mavora Lakes Road and SH94
  • Farming operations
  • River crossings - Never cross flooded rivers
  • Small stream crossings
  • Track exposed to sun, wind or cold

Access

Northern Start: Mavora Camping Area, Mavora Lakes Road

Southern End: Junction of SH94 and Princhester Road

Transport

Te Ānau getting there/away

  • InterCity - P: 03 365 1113 - Daily buses to Queenstown, Dunedin and Christchurch
  • Private Transfer an on-demand service at a time to suit. Cost from $45.00 dropping off at state highway 94 per charter. For a drop off at the end of the Princhester Road Cost from $55 per charter. Contact Topline Tours Linda & Denis 03 29 9550 cell 029 770 3134

  • Tracknet - P: 0800 483 262 provide public transport to and from Princhester Road from Te Anau

Accomodation

Te Ānau accommodation

Many other options at all levels are also available in Te Ānau.

Mossburn accommodation

Food and Supply

Te Ānau resupply

Intro

Te Araroa in Southland has the smell of salty Foveaux Strait in the air.

The spectacular Mavora lakes, the eerie Takitimu Forest and the windswept coast. Te Araroa's southern routes are full of diversity and beauty.

From the open tops high above the Telford Burn Te Araroa through-trampers get their first glimpse towards the south coast. They still have 60 km to go as the crow flies though. And there is further ground to walk once they finally meet the ocean at Colac Bay.

Te Araroa continues along the coast to Riverton, then to Invercargill. And finally to its southern terminus at Stirling Point, Bluff. Over 3000km from where it started at Cape Reinga in the north.

Description

Route State Highway 94 to Lower Princhester Hut - 6km / 1.5 hours

From the highway, the route follows Princhester Road to DOC’s Lower Princhester Hut (6 bunks). Princhester Road is a gravelled public road, but also a working farm access way. Please give way to stock and farm operations and leave gates as you find them.

No dogs are permitted.

Lower Princhester Hut to Aparima Hut - 17km / 5-6 hours

The track from Lower Princhester Hut is through beech forest and climbs to a saddle between the Bog Burn and Waterloo Burn catchments. It then descends to the northern boundary of Waterloo Station, a Crown Pastoral Lease comprising 3500ha. It is about 4.5km to this point.

Waterloo Station is private property but the lessees allow tramper access down their western boundary to Aparima Hut (12 bunks). The route is poled through tussock land on the bush fringe and marked through the bush-clad headlands. Care is required to stay on the permitted track line.

Aparima Hut to Lower Wairaki Hut - 13.1km / 6 hours

  • Note: The next section to Lower Wairaki Hut is predominantly within the forest. The ground trail is light, or non-existent, so care and concentration is required to travel from marker to marker. 

Cross the Aparima River on the swingbridge near the hut. The track forks here. To the left, there is access out to Dunrobin Road (2 hours). Meanwhile, Te Araroa follows poles westward (to the right) through marshland on the terrace above the Aparima River’s true right bank. The track reaches the forest edge after 2.5km. Once within the forest, the marked track rolls over foothills to a sign-posted junction with the Wairaki River Track. Turn left here and it’s a 45-minute walk downstream to the Wairaki River ford. Cross the river here, as river levels allow, and climb to the nearby Lower Wairaki Hut (4 bunks).

Lower Wairaki Hut to Telford Campsite – 8km / 4 hours

The sign-posted track departs to the side of the hut and traverses the bush fringe. After about 600m the track crosses a stream, a marker then indicates a right-hand turn and the beginning of the climb towards the Telford Tops. Carry water from here as it’s the last reliable stream until the campsite.

The climb to the ridge is steady and steepens towards the end. Once on the ridge, the track turns left and follows the ridge. After 440m the track emerges on the tops, which afford good views south towards the coast. Marker poles continue down on the main ridge for another 2km. The track then leaves the ridge to the right and descends through grasslands to the Telford Campsite, which has a toilet and water available from the stream. Trampers should camp here if arriving after midday (see Mt Linton Station conditions of access below). There is no shelter at Telford Campsite.

Telford Campsite to Struan Flat Rd – 25km / 8-9 hours

  • Note: this section is entirely over Mt Linton Station, which is privately owned, and is closed for lambing from 25th September to 5th November inclusive each year.

There is no vehicle access into Mt Linton Station, beyond the main station office

In order to comply with the daylight hours condition, trampers should start no later than 10am while daylight saving is in operation (earlier when it is not) and make steady progress towards their destination.

Much of the route is over a working farm so trampers may encounter vehicles and the movement of stock in large numbers. In these situations, farm operations have right of way. Trampers need to step aside and wait quietly until all livestock have passed. Please take direction from farm staff as necessary.

There is no drinking water available en route so trampers should carry sufficient water to last the day.

From the Telford Campsite the route follows poles down the true left side of Telford Burn to a sign-posted crossing. Ford the river here, as river levels allow, and continue on the farm track down the side of the Wairaki River to a marked sharp turn away from the river.

From here you follow well-marked farm track through the hills before dropping back down and sidling above the Wairaki River. The farm track descends onto a large fan down to river level - follow the marked route to the optimum crossing point. In general, the river runs barely above ankle height and will be easily crossed. Do not attempt to cross if it is high, dirty or fast-flowing.

Coming up from the river you will again join a farm track - this is one of the Station's main access-ways so keep a close eye out for stock or farm traffic. Following that track 2.75km and not far around a 90-degree bend, a well-marked turn will take you off the major farm track onto a lesser one. Continue on that track through paddocks, around forestry plantation and take in the sights and smells of New Zealand's largest farm station.

On occasion, the route will leave farm tracks but it is well marked - just look for the capped posts and/or stiles across each fence.

Towards the end of the route cross Orauea Stream on the footbridge a short distance from the roadside trailhead, and follow the marked route out to Struan Flat Road.

There is parking and cell phone reception here and trampers can phone if they need shuttle transport or accommodation. To ensure availability it’s best to have made arrangements in advance.

Otherwise, it is 7km left on the Ohai-Clifden Highway to Ohai, a small rural town. A further 9km along the Ohai-Clifden highway will take you to Nightcaps where you can resupply at Nightcaps 4 Square.

Conditions

Shelter

While there are several huts en route, there is no shelter at the Telford Campsite. Trampers will need to carry and use a tent here.

Potential Hazards

  • Many sections are over uneven terrain where there is no real ground trail evident. Trampers are advised to carry a GPS, maps, compass, usual survival equipment, and to have the skills needed to use everything properly.
  • Access is only for tramping parties of 8 or fewer members and during daylight hours
  • Vehicles on road or track. Be aware of farm vehicles and/or stock on Mt Linton Station
  • Farming operations
  • River crossings - Never cross flooded rivers
  • Track exposed to sun, wind or cold
  • Few water sources on Mt Linton Station
  • No camping outside of designated campsites
  • No fires, vehicles (including bicycles), horses, dogs or firearms
  • Carry all rubbish out with you
  • No commercial activity, including guiding or organized events.

Please stick only to the marked track and use stiles where provided.

  • Note: Any walkers found off the marked route shall be trespassed and directed to leave the property via the way they came - this is in response to numerous abuses of our access privilege over the years

Access

Northern Start: Junction of SH94 and Princhester Road

Southern End: Struan Flat Road, Birchwood

The final 25km of this track is across Mt Linton Station, which is a large and intensive farmed private property. Access across Mt Linton Station has been generously provided by the Station owners. A number of conditions apply to enable walking access to co-exist with farm operations. These conditions including a track closure for lambing from 25 September to 5 November inclusive. 

A good portion of the Takitimu Track can still be used during the lambing closure. This is by using the exit/entry track from Aparima Hut to Dunrobin Road.

Accomodation

Accommodation en route

Accommodation just beyond the end of this route

  • Birchwood Station has a cabin available to Te Araroa walkers near the beginning of this route.  For safety reasons, you'll need to call ahead - same day ok but at least a few hours notice - and be met and taken into the hut.
    • $20pp for the night and $15pp more for a home-cooked meal. Gas cooking facilities, microwave, hot shower, fire, toilet.
    • Call or text Sarah 027 6995234 or Dean 021 655852.

Intro

The track starts on Struan Flat Road. Walk 250m to the Ohai Clifden Highway. Turn right here and walk 650m to the intersection with Birchwood Wairio Road. Turn left onto this road and walk 2.4km to the edge of the eucalyptus forest fringe. 

Woodlaw Track - 14.2km / 7-8 hours

This track crosses private property and ongoing access is dependent upon the goodwill of landowners: Matariki Forests, DT King & Co Limited, Birchwood Station and Stephen Blair-Edie. The track is across farmland and through exotic forest, save for a small indigenous forest section within the Woodlaw Forest Conservation Area.

In order to comply with the daylight hours condition, trampers should start out early in the morning and make steady progress towards their final destination.

If you encounter farm staff moving stock en route please step well aside and wait quietly until all animals have passed by. Take direction from farm staff as necessary.

Description

Don’t rely on drinking water being available en route.

The track leaves the road on the right here and travels up the forest fringe beside a fence line.

Beyond the eucalyptus section the track crosses a stock lane and continues up a fenceline to the base of the Twinlaw Range. The track line turns left here and sidles east to join with a grassed farm track. This track climbs steeply up the hill face to the right. As the track nears the main ridge it veers south and becomes less distinct on the ground. Marker poles continue to show the way.

Once on the main ridge travel is along the ridgeline to the left (southeast). This is on a light but distinct farm track that leads up to the Birchwood Station/Twinlaw Forest boundary gate. Beyond the gate, Te Araroa enters exotic forest on a 4WD track then traverses the Twinlaw tops on privately owned forest roads, which make for pleasant and easy walking. You’re unlikely to encounter vehicles, unless there is some forestry operation underway.

There are a number of forestry road junctions but marker poles are in place to show the way through. For the sake of completeness, turn left onto Trig Road then right onto Twinlaw Road. Keep left at the Feldwick Road junction and continue along Twinlaw Road. This is towards and through the junction with Chandler Road. Te Araroa leaves Twinlaw Road on a 4WD track on the right-hand side of the road. There is a turning bay at the end of this track, right on the Twinlaw/Woodlaw Forest boundary.

Te Araroa enters the beech forest from the turning bay. This is on a tramping track, within the Woodlaw Forest Conservation Area. The track traverses uneven ground towards Woodlaw Peak then descends towards a narrow strip of exotic forest. Here it joins with a 4WD track that leads to a junction. Turn right at this junction onto the forestry road and soon the road emerges from the forest. It then continues down a long fenced straight, which leads out through farmland towards Scotts Gap-Feldwick Road. (It is 13km to the right via Lower Scotts Gap Road and Otautau-Tuatapere Road to Otautau.)

From the Woodlaw Track trailhead turn left onto Scotts Gap-Feldwick Road and walk the road shoulder through Scotts Gap junction and onto Upper Scotts Gap Road. Continue down Upper Scotts Gap Road then turn right and walk up Hewitt Road. The Island Bush Track starts up the road at the gate on the exotic forest fringe. This is a 3.5km connection.

Island Bush Track - 4km / 1.5 hours

Forestry work closure of Island Bush Track from km 2822 to km 2887, 2nd May 2022 until September 2022.  See Alerts and Trail Status page for bypass information

This track is through the exotic forest and then across farmland. It is entirely on private property with access being provided by 2 landowners - Matariki Forests and Mike Whale. 

The track starts at the forest entry gate near the top of Hewitt Rd. If arriving by car it’s best to park near the bottom of the road and walk up. Continue up Hewitt Road beyond the gate and through the forest. This is to a junction with Loop Road.

Turn left onto Loop Road, the first of 4 junctions. Stay left again at the second junction, right at the third, and left at the fourth junction.

From the forestry road end a foot track leads down between the pine tree rows to the farm boundary. 

Once across the boundary fence, turn left onto the farm track and descend. Markers show the way down the track and across a paddock to a pine shelter-belt. The track then turns right and follows this line of trees to a gate. Through the gate the track crosses a bridge and then heads diagonally to the right towards a gap in another shelter-belt. Once through the gap, the roadside stile is visible ahead to the right. (It is left for 13km to Otautau and Tuatapere is 28km to the right.)

There is parking opposite the trailhead.

From the Island Bush Track trailhead turn right (west) onto Otautau-Tuatapere Road and walk 2.5km, past Gill Road to the Merrivale Road junction.

Conditions

Lambing closure between 9 September and 9 November inclusive.

Forestry work closure of Island Bush Block from km 2822 to km 2887, 2nd May 2022 until September 2022

Potential hazards:

  • Vehicles on road or track Take care on roads
  • Farming operations
  • Forestry operations
  • Few water sources

A number of conditions apply to enable walking access to co-exist with farm and forestry operations. These conditions including an annual track closure for lambing from 9th September to 9th November inclusive. The remaining conditions are set out below and compliance is important, both out of respect for the land owners and to help ensure Te Araroa walkers continue to be able to use this critical link:

  • Access is only for tramping parties of 8 or fewer members and during daylight hours.
  • Give way to stock and farm/forestry operations;
  • No camping, fires, vehicles (including bicycles), horses, dogs, or firearms;
  • Carry all rubbish out;
  • No commercial activity, including guiding or organized events.

Access

Northern Start: Struan Flat Rd, Birchwood

Southern End: Junction of Otautau-Tuatapere and Merrivale Rds, Merrivale

Accomodation

Accommodation at start of the route (near the start of route)

  • Birchwood Station has a cabin available to Te Araroa walkers near the beginning of this route.  For safety reasons, you'll need to call ahead - same day ok but at least a few hours notice - and be met and taken into the hut.
    • $20pp for the night and $15pp more for a home-cooked meal. Gas cooking facilities, microwave, hot shower, fire, toilet.
    • Call or text Sarah 027 6995234 or Dean 021 655852.

Accommodation at end of route (Merrivale)

  • Merriview Hut (not to be confused with Merrivale Station) -  A great little spot right on the Te Araroa route.  The hut is about 40 m along Merrivale Road from Tautapere Road, separate from the house on the corner of Merrivale Road. 2 Merrivale Rd, Otautau - P: 021 567105.  Hut ($15pp) or camping ($10pp) available, fresh eggs ($1 each) and rubbish disposal.

Accommodation at Otautau

  • Otautau Hotel - 167 Main St, Otautau - P: 03 225 8166 - E: otautauhotel@vodafone.co.nz - W: www.otautauhotelpub.co.nz/contact - rooms, bars & restaurant
  • Otautau Railway Hotel and Backpackers - 76-78 King St, Otautau - P: 03 225 8577 - backpackers, bar & restaurant

Accommodation at Tuatapere - Island Bush 

Food and Supply

Otautau

  • Supervalue Supermarket - 157 Main St, Otautau - P: 03 225 8029 - W: www.supervalue.co.nz/ Open daily 8am-7pm.

Tuatapere - Island Bush 

  • Four 4 Square supermarket - 73 Main St, Tuatapere - P: 03 226 6898 - W: www.foursquare.co.nz/ - Open daily 7:30am-9pm

Intro

Walk 7.5km up Merrivale Road into the forest, all the way to the road-end. A washout about 6km up Merrivale Road prevents 2WD vehicles progressing further but there is roadside parking there.

During the deer roar (March/April) we recommend that all walkers wear a high-vis vest while walking through the Longwoods Forest.

The only reliable water source on Te Araroa for over 13km is Merry Creek, accessed a short distance down a 4WD track that departs Merrivale Road on the left-hand side, just beyond the final farm paddock.

 

 

Description

Merrivale Rd end to Bald Hill - 4.3km / 2 hours

From the road end a short 4WD track leads off to the start of the Longwood Forest Track. The first orange track markers are encountered a little further along. A GPS may come in handy here (and across the tops) as the ground trail is not always obvious.

The track climbs gradually for 2.5km to a clearing but soon re-enters the forest. From here it’s only 500m to the tree line from where the transmission tower is visible on clear days. The track is marked by poles across the open tops to the transmission tower at a road end upon Bald Hill. 

Bald Hill to Martins Hut - 15.5km / 7 hours

Descend the road from the transmission tower. Water may be available from small streams draining from the left. This is in the vicinity of the gates which cross the road. Fill up here as there is no other easily available water source for some distance.

Continue down the road to the old quarry from where the track departs on the right near a square steel plate sign.

The track within the forest is well marked and easy to follow through an increasingly stunted forest. In open sections, however, the route is lightly marked with poles. Continue through forest and shrublands across "Little Baldy" and the saddle to the main Longwood ridge. The track from here is often indistinct but follows markers to and beyond the Longwood trig. The descent on the marked track is fairly steep and through the forest to historic Martins Hut, built 1905 and the last (or first if northbound!) hut on Te Araroa.

Martins Hut is compact with 4 timber bunks with mattresses. It would provide welcome shelter in poor weather. There is a small water tank behind the hut - though do treat the water. 

Another water source at Martins Hut is small stream off on an unmarked side track between the toilet and the hut. This is off to the left as you are facing downhill. Water also becomes more readily available on the main track lower down.

Martins Hut to Long Hilly Track and Round Hill - 12.5km / 4 hours

Leaving Martins Hut follow the trail for 100m and turn right at the marked junction.  Follow the water race on Turnbulls Tramping Track for 4.9km to the derelict historic Turnbulls (Big Dam) Hut. Once you leave Turnbulls hut you will continue on the Turnbulls Tramping Track, descending gradually for the next 4.5km until you reach the historic Ports Water Race. At this junction turn right and follow the water race for 250m before reaching the Round Hill Track and walking for 850m to the carpark.  

From the carpark turn left and follow Round Hill Road for 900m until you join State Highway 99. Turn left again onto State Highway 99 and walk the 4km to Colac Bay.

Conditions

During the deer roar (March/April) we recommend that all walkers wear a high-vis vest while walking through the Longwoods Forest.

Potential Hazards

  • Vehicles on road or track on Merrivale road
  • Poisons & traps
  • Farming operations
  • Track exposed to sun, wind or cold
  • Weather extremes
  • Few water sources between Merrivale Road and Martins Hut

Access

Northern Start: Junction of Otautau-Tuatapere and Merrivale Roads, Merrivale

Southern End: End of Ports Water Race Track

Transport

Walk 7.5km up Merrivale Road into the forest, all the way to the road-end. A washout about 6km up Merrivale Road prevents 2WD vehicles progressing further but there is roadside parking there.

Accomodation

Accommodation en route

  • Martins Hut - Basic 4 bunk hut - The water source at Martins Hut is a small tank behind the hut. There is also a small stream off on an unmarked side track between the toilet and the hut. This is off to the left as you are facing downhill. Water also becomes more readily available on the main track lower down. 

Food and Supply

The only reliable water source on Te Araroa for over 13km is Merry Creek, accessed a short distance down a 4WD track that departs Merrivale Road on the left-hand side, just beyond the final farm paddock.

Intro

At the end of the Port’s Water Race the track joins the Long Hilly Track. Turn left here and follow the track down past a number of sign-posted historic gold mining sites to the car park on Round Hill Road.

The Long Hilly Track is an extremely popular day walk, taking in a number of historic mine workings from what was once the largest Chinese mining settlement in New Zealand, dating back to 1874.

There is a loop track available for day-walkers which takes 2 hours 15 minutes.

Turn left out of the Long Hilly Walking Track car park and walk 850m down Round Hill Road to the SH99 junction. Turn left here and then, after 4km, right onto Colac Bay Road. Adjacent to this intersection is the Colac Bay Tavern where meals and camping facilities are available.

Conditions

Potential hazards

  • Vehicles on road or track. Take extreme care on the road walk to Colac Bay
  • Weather extremes
  • Few water sources on the road walk

Access

Northern Start: End of Ports Water Race Track

Southern End: Junction of Colac Bay Road and SH99, Colac Bay

Accomodation

Martins Hut - Basic 4 bunk hut - The water source at Martins Hut is a small tank behind the hut. There is also a small stream off on an unmarked side track between the toilet and the hut. This is off to the left as you are facing downhill. Water also becomes more readily available on the main track lower down. 

Colac Bay Tavern & Camping Ground - 15 Colac Bay Rd, Colac Bay - P: 03 234 8399 or M: 027 435 5872 - Meals, backpacker and camping facilities available. Luna Sea Lodge 641 Orepuki-Riverton Highway. Tel: +64 (0)27 601 5744 Email:lunasealodge@gmail.com, facebook.com@lunasealodge Only minutes from Tīhaka Beach, we have individual rooms for rent with shared facilities in a warm homely environment.

Intro

This coastal track connects Colac Bay with Riverton and is mostly near the coast.

Before the climb up to Mores Reserve the track crosses sections of private farmland. Keep to the marked track here and be aware that this section is closed during September and October for lambing. It is also foot access only and dogs are prohibited.

To reach Riverton during the lambing closure, continue on Tīhaka Beach Road to Orepuki Riverton Highway (SH99). Turn right here and walk the road shoulder into Riverton.

The track formally begins at the Colac Bay Road/SH99 junction (with the Colac Bay Tavern and campground adjacent). If the tide is right, head east along the beach. Alternatively, at high tide, walk the initial section on the Foreshore Road frontage then descend to the beach when the road turns inland. Continue along the beach then ascend the formed sand track to Tīhaka Beach Road.

Description

When this road veers inland Te Araroa remains on the coast (unless you’re here during the lambing closure). Keep to the track, which follows marker poles along the beaches and across the headlands.

From the final deer fence the track leaves the coast and heads up towards, then through, Mores Reserve to emerge at a car park at the end of Richard Street. There are public toilets here. Walk down Richard Street towards Riverton.

At the bottom of Richard Street turn left onto Bay Road and walk around to the Palmerston Road Bridge. The Tihaka Beach Track ends at the junction with SH99 just before the bridge.

Conditions

Before the climb up to Mores Reserve the track crosses sections of private farmland. Keep to the marked track here and be aware that this section is closed during September and October for lambing


To reach Riverton during the lambing closure, continue on Tihaka Beach Rd to Orepuki Riverton Highway (SH99). Turn right here and walk the road shoulder into Riverton.

Foot access only.

No dogs are permitted.

Potential Hazards:

  • Vehicles on road or track Take care when walking along roads
  • Farming operations
  • Tides, waves & rivers - safer at low tide
  • Small stream crossings
  • Track exposed to sun, wind or cold
  • Weather extremes
  • Few water sources

 

Access

Northern Start: Junction of Colac Bay Road and SH99, Colac Bay

Southern End: Junction of SH99 and Bay Road, Riverton

Transport

Riverton - Getting there/away

Travel Head First - Bottom Bus Tours - P: 03 477 9083 - Daily shuttle to/from Invercargill and Te Anau

Accomodation

Riverton Accommodation 

  • Riverton Holiday Park - 43 Richard St, Riverton - P: 0800 234 813 or 03 234 8132 - E: wylie@xtra.co.nz - studio units & campsites
  • Riverton Rock Guesthouse - 136 Palmerston St, Riverton - P: 03 234 8886 - E: stay@rivertonrock.co.nz
  • Riverton Lodge Hotel - 57 Princess Street, Riverton - P: 03 234 9945 - E: rivertonlodge@gmail.com - 28 beds available (14 bunkroom and 3 double rooms), communal kitchen, coin-operated laundry facility. Onsite Pub and Restaurant 
  • Luna Sea Lodge 641 Orepuki-Riverton Highway. Tel: +64 (0)27 601 5744 Email:lunasealodge@gmail.com, facebook.com@lunasealodge Only minutes from Tīhaka Beach, we have individual rooms for rent with shared facilities in a warm homely environment. 
  • The Whimsical Studio - 1 Union st, Riverton. Private studio accommodation directly on the trail situated just below Mores Reserve. A super comfy bed, awesome shower & free range eggs from our chickens. Check out Air B&B for reviews emzdanger@gmail.com or 021339446

Food and Supply

Supervalue Supermarket - 163 Palmerston St, Riverton - P: 03 234 8541

Intro

At the eastern end of the bridge on SH99, turn into Jetty Street and onto Leader Street. There is a riverside track here beside a line of pine trees that takes walkers around to the beach. Drop down onto the sand and head south around the estuary mouth and onto Oreti Beach. Take care when the tide is high. 

About 4 hours (12km) into the journey walkers need to ford the mouth of Waimatuku Stream. This crossing can be difficult at high tide but is straightforward at mid to low tide. Plan your approach accordingly.

It is then a further 10km walk along the beach to the Dunns Road exit, which becomes visible at a gap in the dunes. There is a power pole here with a streetlight attached. Follow Dunns Road for 7km towards Invercargill and another 2km once Dunns Road becomes Stead Street, which crosses the estuary towards Tweed Street, and the start of Invercargill’s CBD where you'll find accommodation, shops etc.

The section ends over the road bridge where the Rotary Club’s Stead Street Wharf Walkway begins on the right-hand side.

Conditions

Potential hazards

  • Vehicles on road or track
  • Tides, waves & rivers - safer at low tide
  • River crossings - Never cross flooded rivers
  • Track exposed to sun, wind or cold
  • Weather extremes
  • Few water sources

Access

Northern Start: Junction of SH99 and Bay Road, Riverton

Southern End: Stead Street, Invercargill

Transport

Invercargill - Getting there/away 

Bus options to Dunedin, Te Ānau and Queenstown:

  • InterCity - P: 03 365 1113 
  • Atomic Shuttles - P: 03 349 0697
  • Catch a Bus South - www.catchabussouth.com - offer transport options from Invercargill to/from Bluff, Queenstown and Dunedin, 7 days per week, with multiple times to/from Bluff each day. We also offer personalized tours of the idyllic Catlins area, which really is our third “Jewel in the Crown” for Southland, along with Stewart Island and Milford Sound. These are on request with booking in advance.

Accomodation

  • Oreti Beach House, Foveaux St, Invercargill (sth end of Oreti Beach) - M: 027 211 7170 - E: beachouse@woosh.co.nz
  • Mountaineer Chalet - P: 0272 117 170 - E: mountaineerchalet@gmail.com - Includes: 2br cottage with kitchen, bathroom, laundry 
  • Tuatara Lodge - 30-32 Dee St, Invercargill - P: 0800 488 282 or M: 03 214 0954 - Café onsite and right next door to the Speights Alehouse, a great spot for a post-finish celebration!
  • Southern Comfort Backpackers (BBH) - 30 Thomson St, Invercargill - P: 03 218 3838 

There are also many other options in all levels of accommodation available within Invercargill.

Food and Supply

Pak N' Save Supermarket - 95 Tay St, Invercargill - P: 03 214 4864 

New World Supermarket - 244 Elles Rd, Invercargill - P: 03 218 6811 

Countdown Supermarket - 172 Tay St, Invercargill - P: 03 218 6716 

Intro

The start point in Invercargill is on Stead Street at the sign to Stead Street Wharf.

The shared walking and cycle track was opened in 2015 and Te Araroa Trust majorly funded the initial section.

 

Description

The track runs 10.5km along stopbanks adjacent to the New River Estuary and along the way, you'll be treated to an area teeming with birdlife.

The track exits onto Kekeno Place, which is a busy industrial area, so take care when coming off the end of the track then crossing the railway line back out to SH1. Take care as trains run regularly along this line.

From here, you will walk the newly formed Te Ara Taurapa pathway, which is a 16km sealed off highway shared path for cyclists and walkers. Follow Te Ara Taurapa to Ocean Beach where the Foveaux Walkway (or Walkway Foveaux for Francophiles) starts, behind the big rusty steel BLUFF sign.

  • Note: It is recommended to wear high visibility gear or pack cover when walking Te Ara Taurapa, as although not on the highway, in poor visibility it is in your best interests given there is a lot of heavy traffic and often unfavourable visibility due to weather conditions. Your safety is paramount.

This final 7.2km track crosses the narrow peninsula and follows the south coast around the base of Bluff Hill in an anti-clockwise direction to Te Araroa’s southern terminus at Stirling Point.

Conditions

Potential hazards

  • Vehicles on road or track Take extreme care walking on State Highway 1 roadside - wear a hi-viz vest and/or pack cover
  • Track exposed to sun, wind or cold
  • Weather extremes
  • Few water sources
  • Take care crossing the railway line at Kekeno Place

Access

Northern Start: Stead Street, Invercargill

Southern End: Stirling Point, Bluff

Transport

Bluff

  • Invercargill - Campbelltown passenger service - 1 Lee St, Bluff - P: 03 212 7404
  • Stewart Island Experience Ferry Service - P: 0800 000 511 or 03 212 7660 - E: info@sie.co.nz 
  • Catch a Bus South - offers transport options from Invercargill to/from Bluff, Queenstown and Dunedin, 7 days per week, with multiple times to/from Bluff each day. They also offer personalised tours of the idyllic Catlins area - the third “jewel in the crown” for Southland, along with Stewart Island and Milford Sound. These are on request with booking in advance.

Accomodation

  • Lands End B & B - 10 Ward Parade, Stirling Point Bluff - P: 03 212 7575 - Restaurant on site.
  • Bluff Lodge - Sobo or Nobo "Bluff Lodge and Backpackers" offer quirky value-for-money accommodation either at the start or finish of your incredible journey. The lodge has dorm beds for just $25, with great showers, a fully equipped kitchen and a communal lounge. Also, private rooms and a self-contained apartment which sleeps 4. All can be viewed and booked online. The lodge location is handy to both hotels, all eating places and 2 minutes to ferry to Stewart Island. They are happy to securely store any packages you may wish to forward for your arrival in Bluff. Send resupply boxes labeled with your name to Bluff Lodge, 120 Gore Street, Bluff 9814. Please phone or text Kay 027 294 5306. They say "Congratulations and Welcome" to you all. An amazing "FEAT" on amazing "FEET".  
  • Bluff Camping Ground - Gregory St, Bluff - P: 027 626 2018 - cabins and tent sites.
  • Casa Al Mare John Crawford, 027 274 5604 Bluff. The whole house, two-bedroom with fold-out couch in the lounge will sleep up to six. Full kitchen and nice bathroom. Quote Te Araroa Trail to receive a special rate. 

Food and Supply

Page last updated: Feb 11, 2022, 3:55 PM