Day 1 - Brown Hut to Perry Saddle Hut (approx. 17.5km/5 Hours)
Pick up at accommodation in Nelson at 7.30am and travel to Brown Hut (beginning of the track) - briefings etc. The track gradually climbs through Podocarp and beech forest to Flanagan's Corner (your highest point on the track at 915m). Grand views of Aorere Valley can be seen with Mt Taranaki visible on a clear day. From here a gentle stroll on to Perry Saddle Hut, this is 880 metres above sea level and has bunk-style accommodation for 28.
Day 2 - Perry Saddle Hut to James Mackay Hut (approx. 24.2km/7-8 hours)
After a hearty breakfast, the BIG day begins by following Perry Creek through tussock clearings and scattered beech forest until the valley widens and the open Gouland Downs can be seen sprawling toward the West Coast. The track passes the famous boot pole and gently undulates across the downs, eventually climbing gradually past Saxon Hut onto the edges of Mackay Downs. From here, there are glimpses of the mouth of the Heaphy River and the Tasman Sea. It is not long before the 28 bunk James Mackay Hut is reached, perched on a bench above the track.
Day 3 - James Mackay Hut to Heaphy Hut (approx. 20.5km/6-7 hours)
The track from Mackay Hut descends gradually to the Heaphy River through beech and subtropical Podocarp forest to the Lewis Hut. From here the track meanders along the banks of the Heaphy River, passing giant rata trees. The 20 bunk Heaphy Hut, your accommodation for the evening, is situated close to both river and sea.
Day 4 – Heaphy Hut to Kohaihai (approx. 16.2km – 5 hours) + Transfer to Nelson
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.
Arrive back in Nelson at approximately 7 pm on Day 4.
2022/2023 Departure Dates:
Departures run between October 2022 and May 2023, but most dates are now booked out - please email us for more information.