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Bush and Beyond

New Zealand's Kahurangi National Park, Guided Walk Specialists

A classic walk

Wangapeka Track Walk

A classic walk

A classic walk
A classic walk

Duration: 6 days

A picturesque tarn on Wanganui Saddle
A picturesque tarn on Wanganui Saddle

Trip Facts

Duration: 6 days and 5 nights
Accommodation: Huts and the Karamea Village Hotel
Fitness level: Above average

Whio or blue duck, an endangered New Zealand species
Whio or blue duck, an endangered New Zealand species

Trip Features

The Wangapeka has long been one of the most popular tracks in the upper South Island.

At 52 kilometres, it traverses the park from east to west, ending on the West Coast near Karamea.

It has several rough sections of track with creek and minor river crossings, and so requires a higher fitness level than for the Heaphy Track, but is in the capabilities of most fit walkers, as we travel at a slow pace.

Note: We normally make this trip from east to west, as described here. However, the reverse can also be arranged, particularly in combination with an east to west walk of the Heaphy Track.

The violent effects of the 1929 Murchison earthquake may be seen on the slopes above the Karamea headwaters
The violent effects of the 1929 Murchison earthquake may be seen on the slopes above the Karamea headwaters

Wangapeka Track Pricing

Fully serviced option:

Price: $1,800

Includes:

  • An award winning meal and accommodation in Karamea
  • Includes scenic return drive to Motueka or Nelson
  • Transfer to/from Nelson Airport if required

Self catered option (minimum 4 persons):

4-7 persons, $800 pp
8-10 persons, $750 pp

Cecil King Hut
Cecil King Hut

Day 1

A 1½-hour scenic drive from Motueka to the Wangapeka Valley, on the eastern fringes of Kahurangi National Park.

A 4 to 5 hour walk through beech forest beside the beautiful Wangapeka River, ending at Kings Creek where we have a choice of two huts.

One is a large Department of Conservation hut and the other, Cecil King's historic hut, which is a relic from the gold days.

One of many gushing sidestreams along the track
One of many gushing sidestreams along the track

Day 2

The track, which is an original gold trail, is well graded on this section.

It follows the river to the bush clad Wangapeka Saddle, then descends into the Karamea River catchment where Helicopter Flat hut is our destination for the night.

Blue duck may be seen on this section of river. Approximately 7 hours walking time.

Always time for a photo, before climbing from Stag Flat to Little Wanganui Saddle
Always time for a photo, before climbing from Stag Flat to Little Wanganui Saddle

Day 3

Once again through magnificent covered beech forest, with numerous picturesque creek crossings.

We cross Taipo River on a swing bridge, and eventually reach Taipo hut where we spend the night. Approximately 4 to 5 hours walking time.

The Little Wanganui, looking back to the saddle
The Little Wanganui, looking back to the saddle

Day 4

Probably the highlight of the trip is this climb through mossy knarled forest to the tussock covered Stag Flat, with mountain vistas.

Then on to Little Wanganui Saddle with it's twin tarns, and where a view of the Tasman sea can be seen in the distance on a clear day, on the West Coast.

We now descend into the Little Wanganui catchment area, with the bush getting lusher as we descend, including beautiful groves of mountain cabbage trees.

We then follow the river to the new Belltown Hut for our last night on the track.

Approximately 7 to 8 hours walking time.

Day 5

An easier day following the Little Wanganui River to the track's end, near the Little Wanganui Township on the West Coast.

A short drive takes you to Karamea for a comfortable night in Karamea, a traditional pub with real West Coast hospitality.

Approximately 2½ to 3 hours walking time.

Day 6

On the morning of day 6, we will leave Karamea in our own transport at approx. 9 to 10:00am for the 5 1/2 hour scenic drive to Motueka or Nelson.

This route will take you down the Northern West Coast to Westport, then through the picturesque Buller Gorge.

We will be stopping en route at Murchison for a light lunch, supplied by Bush and Beyond.

Arrival time in Nelson will be approx. 3 to 3:30pm, so it is advisable not to book a flight out of Nelson until after 4:30pm in the event of unforeseen circumstances delaying our return

Continuing down the West Coast?

If you are continuing on down the West Coast after your Wangapeka walk, we can drop you off in Westport if desired

Contact us now about a guided multi-day walk on the Wangapeka Track

Contact us now about a guided multi-day walk on the Wangapeka Track

Kea Conservation Trust Responsible Travel
Outdoors Safety Audit Certified
Email: infoloading@bushandbeyondloading.co.nz
Bush and Beyond Guided Walks, 1544 Dovedale Road, RD2, Wakefield, 7096, New Zealand,
Overseas: 64 21 027 08209,    New Zealand: 021 027 08209,    After Hours: 03 543 3742

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