Plan your active adventure.View relaxed booking conditions.
  • self-guided walk
  • 1 night motel, 3 nights Department of Conservation Great Walk Hut
  • 4 Dinners
  • 3 Breakfasts

5 Days$-61USD

Hit the trails with confidence

Flexible Cancellations
Stress free booking, learn more about our flexible terms

COVID-19 safety measures
Read our Covid-19 travel policy and what we're doing to keep you safe

Remote adventures
means social distancing comes naturally

Small groups only
Guided group sizes are strictly limited to maximum 16 people, average of 8-10

Trip Code: GWH

Trip highlights

  • Follow in the footsteps of early Maori pounamu gatherers
  • Diverse wilderness including lush forest, alpine tussock, wild rivers and remote beaches
  • Hike one of New Zealand's less-visited Great Walks
  • Hear great spotted kiwis calling at night
  • Opportunity to spot rare wildlife such as takahe (a flightless bird) and Powelliphanta (a carnivorous snail)

Kahurangi National Park is New Zealand's second largest national park and while it includes huge areas of wild, untracked land it is also home to the Heaphy Track. In the Maori language, "Kahurangi" means treasured possession, which is apt for a region where some of the country's oldest rocks, rarest birds and weirdest plants are found. The route of the Heaphy Track is similarly significant, being that followed by local Maori in search of pounamu (or greenstone) - most definitely a treasured possession - on the west coast. You may be lucky enough to spot a takahe (a rare flightless bird), Powelliphanta (a large carnivorous snail) or a great spotted kiwi along the trail. Add to that a diverse landscape of wild rivers, alpine herbfields, high plateau tussock land, remote beaches and coastal forest and you have all the ingredients for a truly spectacular walk. Sleeping in well maintained huts and cooking your own food, this walk requires the carrying of a full pack.

Make your own way to Nelson, the city at the geographical centre of New Zealand, and check-in to your accommodation any time after 2:00pm. You should allow enough time to purchase your lunch and snack supplies for the next four days. Conveniently located supermarkets are usually open until about 8:00pm daily. Your meal pack with breakfasts and dinners for the walk, plus cooking pot and accessories, should be waiting for you at the hotel. It is also worth exploring this city with its colourful main street, historic cathedral, lovely walking and cycling trails, the Centre of New Zealand Lookout (a 20 minute walk with superb panoramic views), vibrant arts and cultural scene, beautiful Tahunanui Beach and a multitude of cafes, restaurants and award-winning breweries showcasing seasonal, regional flavours and artisan produce.

Meals:  D

Make your way to the Nelson i-Site for your shared road transfer to the Heaphy Track. The journey takes approximately 3 hrs via the scenic coastal route, with stops along the way including Motueka, Takaka and Collingwood before arriving at Brown Hut, the eastern trailhead. Begin walking with a gradual climb through bushland along an old survey route for a road. The track winds and zig zags its way upwards from 135m above sea level to around 900m at Flanagan Corner. This is about 30 minutes walk from Perry Saddle Hut, tonight's destination, and is worth a stop for a short side trip to the highest point on the trail (915m). Fabulous views await, including a glimpse of Mt Taranaki (Mt Egmont) on the North Island on a clear day. Continue to Perry Saddle Hut nestled on the edge of the treeline and settle in for the night.

Meals:  D

Today is the longest day on the trail but with mostly undulating and downhill gradients it flows easily. The vegetation changes back and forth from patches of tussockland to moss-covered beech forest in this high plateau region. Pass by the historic Gouland Downs Hut and keep an eye out for Takahe in the expansive tussock area. These are rare, native flightless birds recently released here as part of a program to re-introduce the species to the wild. Cross numerous bridged streams and pass Saxon Hut on your way to James Mackay Hut where your day ends. The Heaphy River meets the Tasman Sea 750m below in the distance, an inspiring view of tomorrow's destination. NOTE: If you wish to enjoy the track at a more leisurely pace, an extra day can be added to the trip, staying at Saxon Hut tonight and continuing to James Mackay Hut tomorrow.

Meals:  B,D

Leaving the alpine plateau region today the track descends about 700m to sea level. Beautiful beech forest gives way to lush forest of kahikatea, rimu and giant ancient rata, with nikau palms becoming more common on the river flats towards the coast. Cross the Heaphy River via the longest suspended deck bridge ever built by the Department of Conservation at 148.8m. Conclude your day at the Heaphy Hut, nestled in a stunning location beside the Heaphy River mouth. Enjoy a spectacular sunset while the wild west coast ocean pounds the beach but refrain from swimming here as the rips and currents are dangerous. Listen out for the call of the great spotted kiwi around the Heaphy Hut after dark and beware of the cheeky wekas as they have been known to run off with socks and other items.

Meals:  B,D

The track follows the coastline for the final section, with superb views and many places to stop for photos. Pass remote beaches, staying alert for wave surges at high tide in some well-marked places. Walk beneath rata forest and through groves of nikau palms, cross bridges over gurgling streams, round rugged headlands and stop off at Scotts Beach for a break before the last short climb over Kohaihai Bluff. On arrival at the trailhead, where the Kohaihai River empties into the ocean, celebrate your achievement before your shuttle transfer departs for Nelson around 1:00pm. Trip arrangements end on arrival in Nelson around 7:00pm. NOTE: If you prefer to take your time today, a private shuttle can be arranged from Kohaihai to the village of Karamea later in the afternoon (subject to availability, additional cost applies). In that instance you will need to arrange overnight accommodation in Karamea (own expense) and take the scheduled shuttle to Nelson the following afternoon. Alternatively, a scenic flight can be taken from Karamea for a quick return to Nelson, subject to availability and weather conditions (min 2 passengers, additional cost applies). Transfer from Kohaihai trailhead to Karamea airstrip included.

Meals:  B



The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


  • 1 night motel accommodation in Nelson (twinshare) with private bathroom
  • 3 nights Department of Conservation (DOC) Great Walk hut in multishare bunk rooms with shared toilet
  • 3 breakfasts, 3 dinners (Radix Nutrition meals)
  • Cooking pot
  • Hot drinks pack including tea/coffee/hot chocolate
  • Drinking water (available from hotels and DOC huts)
  • Rubbish bag, toilet paper
  • Route notes and map
  • Return shared transfers from Nelson to trailheads
  • Great Walk hut fees paid to Department of Conservation
  • Personal Locator Beacon (to be returned at end of trip)
  • $20 per person donation to Kahurangi National Park: Takahe Recovery Program (see

  • Travel to Nelson on Day 1 and onwards from Nelson after trip arrangements end on Day 5
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary and trail snacks
  • Drinks other than water, tea/coffee/hot chocolate - good drinking water is available at each night's accommodation
  • Optional activities, extras and upgrades
  • Excess luggage storage
  • Hiking pack, sleeping bag, bowl & cutlery (there are limited numbers of these available for hire; please request in advance)
  • Items of a personal nature (eg. laundry, shopping, internet)
  • Car parking in Nelson if self-driving and using the included transfer service between trailheads
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)


Trail Surface

Departure dates

Daily departures all year

* Guaranteed status denotes minimum trip numbers have been met, however the trips operation will be subject to there being no COVID-19 restrictions or other government travel advisories. Please contact us for further information.


Mid Season
Sleeping bags, hiking packs and eating utensils are available for hire. An extra day on the track can also be added if you prefer to take things more slowly. Additional cost applies.
We recommend minimum 2 people for this trip for safety reasons. However, solo travellers with good hiking experience in remote areas with changeable weather will find it achievable.
A scenic flight can be taken instead of a road transfer from Kohaihai trailhead to either Nelson or Takaka on completion of the walk. Additional cost applies and may vary according to timing and the number of passengers. **Backfill specials apply to seats on relocation legs of flights already booked. Please ask for dates and availability
The track can be walked in either direction

Dates or itinerary don't fit?

Create a custom made itinerary for the perfect adventure. Choose when you travel, what you see and where you go.

Total Priceper person from


Options & Supplements*
  • Reduction all seasons - youth 11 - 17 yrs (NZ resident)USD$-114
  • Reduction off seasons (May - Sep) - youth 11 - 17 yrs (international)USD$-114
  • Reduction for summer (Oct - Apr) - youth 11 - 17 yrs (international)USD$-57
  • Reduction for summer (Oct - Apr) - adult (NZ residents)USD$-39
  • Bowl and cutlery hireUSD$8
  • Karamea to Nelson backfill special flight Oct - Apr **USD$70
  • Karamea to Nelson flight (min 2 pax) Oct - AprUSD$170
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Heaphy Track Self-Guided Hike trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.

Trip reviews

Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

Thoughtful Travel

Responsible travel is at the heart of every program we offer as a fundamental and long held philosophy. When you book one of our 100% carbon offset adventures you’re supporting true sustainability in the protection of local communities, natural environments and wildlife.

Ultimate Value

 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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