kiwis on stewart island

Waitutu Track


The Waitutu Track takes you from Lake Hauroko down the Wairaurahiri River by jetboat to the southern ocean. Then following the South Coast track across four mighty viaducts, bush and beach tracks returning to Tuatapere.

Day 1: Tuatapere
Check in to The Waiau Hotel, voted one of New Zealand's top country hotels. Around 6pm your guide will meet you for a briefing guide and make plans for the next few days. The join the guide for dinner at 7.30 pm.

Settle in for a good nights sleep to prepare for tomorrow's adventure.

Day 2: Lake Hauroko, Waitutu Lodge
Drive 1 hour
Jet boating time: 1 1/2 hours

Up for an early breakfast departing Tuatapere at 8.30am for Lake Hauroko on the edge of Fiordland National Park. Jetboat down the Wairaurahiri River, said to be New Zealand's steepest river with rock strewn rapids leading from Lake Hauroko to the southern ocean.

Stay at the Waitutu Bush Lodge set on the Wild side of the Wairaurahiri River in the Waitutu Forest. Take a short walk in the Waitutu Forest with giant rimu and totara trees hundreds of years old.

This is the largest tract of untouched native forest in New Zealand. Learn about the intricate habitats that provide homes for an abundance of wildlife including the South Island kaka, wood pigeon, long tailed bat and yellow crowned parakeet.

Day 3: Viaducts, Port Craig Village
Walk 6 to 8 hours / 16km (9.6 miles)

Today we head east along an old coastal track (the South Coast track) cut in 1896 to provide access to gold mining settlements at Preservation Inlet. In the 1920's a bush tramway was built to transport logs to the mill at Port Craig. This included the construction of four large wooden viaduct's.

The largest is the spectacular Percy Burn Viaduct, the highest remaining wooden viaduct in the world.

Port Craig Village, a modern bush lodge set above Mussell Bay, is our base for the evening. Explore the remains of this once bustling milling town with a Heritage Trail and brochure.

Day 4: Rarakau Carpark, Tuatapere
Walk 6 to 8 hours / 17 km (10.2 miles)
Drive 45 minutes

A chance to see Hectors dolphins and penguins as we follow beach and coastal tracks along the sweeping Te Waewae Bay to Bluecliffs Beach and the end of the road.

Return by shuttle to Tuatapere and the completion of your journey.

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