Heaphy Track Hiking Itinerary


The First Day of the Heaphy

Early pick up at accommodation in Nelson and travel to Brown Hut (beginning of the track) for a final briefing and a mid-morning start. The track climbs gradually on an easy gradient through podocarp and beech forest to reach Flanagan’s Corner (the highest point on the track, at 915m). En route there are grand views of Aorere Valley, with Mt Taranaki visible on a clear day. It’s then a gentle stroll on to Perry Saddle Hut, which sits at 880 metres above sea level

The Perry Saddle Hut can be found at the highest point on the Heaphy Track and is brand new (2013). Located in the fold of Perry Saddle with on either side high hills, the hut has an alpine feel. There are spectacular views out to the Dragons Teeth, which are distant tooth-shaped peaks, and Mt Olympus.
Perry Saddle Hut


Perry Creek to Mackay Downs

After a hearty breakfast, the day begins by following Perry Creek through tussock clearings and scattered beech forest until the valley widens and opens into the sub-alpine tussock lands of Gouland Downs, which extend toward the West Coast. The track passes the famous boot pole, gently undulating across the downs, and climbing gradually to a lunch stop at Saxon Hut. This marks the edge of the Mackay Downs. As the moss-lined track winds on, there are occasional glimpses of the mouth of the Heaphy River and the Tasman Sea. 

Situated on the edge of Mackay Downs, the James Mackay Hut has astonishing views of the distant Tasman Sea, Heaphy River Mouth, and wild West Coast on clear days. The James Mackay Hut is the newest building (2014) on the Heaphy Track
James Mackay Hut


Mackey Hut to Heaphy Hut

The track from Mackay Hut descends gradually to the Heaphy River through beech and subtropical podocarp forest to a lunch stop at the Lewis Hut. From here the track meanders along the banks of the Heaphy River, passing giant rata trees. The Heaphy Hut, our accommodation for the evening, has a spectacular location at the river mouth with sweeping views both up the river valley and down the wild West Coast.

The Heaphy Hut has dazzling West Coast sunset views of the Heaphy River meeting the Tasman Sea. It is built in 2013 and is state-of-the-art. Located at Heaphy Beach, it truly is a stunning location with nikau palms clustered around.
Heaphy hut


The Last Day of the Heaphy

The final trail section heads from Heaphy Hut along a coastline dominated by nikau groves to the track’s end at the Kohaihai River mouth. Some beach walking is possible at low tide. This is a spectacular coastal walk (and one of NZ’s best day walks) to complete your Heaphy adventure. Our van meets you at the Kohaihai River mouth where we transfer you back to Nelson, with stops for lunch and afternoon tea on the way home.


The Heaphy Track

Your Heaphy Track Guided Walk includes transfers; 3 nights track; breakfasts, lunches and dinners; snacks; and a professional guides/cook.


  • Utensils, plate and cup
  • Knowledgeable guide
  • Fresh meals made by your guide
  • Snack pack
  • Comfortable but basic Department of Conservation huts
  • Door to door transport to/from Nelson accommodation
  • Emergency equipment

2018/19 Departure Dates

October 05,12,19,26
November 02,09,16,23,30
December 07,14,21,28
January 04,11,18,25
February 01,08,15,22
March 01,08,15,22,29
April 05,12,29,26
May 03,10,17,24,31

Rental Gear

  • Backpack hire – $50 per item per trip
  • Sleeping bag – $50 per item per trip
  • Rain Jacket – $50 per item per trip
  • Hiking pole hire – $20 per pair per trip

How fit do I need to be to walk the Milford Track?
To really enjoy walking the Milford Track you should be happy to carry a medium sized backpack for 4-8 hours and be able to walk 10-21km (6-13miles) of well formed but at times steep mountain track each day. If you are not a regular walker, we recommend that you begin a daily walking routine 6-8 weeks prior to departure.

To make the most of the walk it's important that you walk at a pace you feel comfortable at and can sustain. Over the day walkers will spread out along the track, and there is absolutely no need for you to stick with the fastest (or slowest) walkers. Take your time, and just enjoy walking on the Milford Track!

Track Conditions
The track surface varies from smooth, well formed paths to rough terrain, broken by rocks and tree roots. There are steep rocky downhill sections and you may have to cross small streams and wade in deep water after heavy rain.


What Debs says about this tour: I recommend this four day, fully catered and guided hike to folk who have good basic fitness and would like to spend more time walking than relaxing. The scenery is stunning on this New Zealand Great Walk, and all your transfers and details are taken care of.
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Pricing terms

The price is based on current exchange rates but is only an approximation. Please contact us for a final price