• guided walk
  • 3 nights simple lodge
  • 3 Dinners
  • 3 Lunches
  • 3 Breakfasts


4 daysfrom


Trip Code: SOG7629

Trip highlights

  • A spectacular short helicopter flight across Te Waewae Bay
  • Heli-lift of luggage (to Okaka Lodge only)
  • Diverse and stunning scenery, from sub-alpine to sea-level environments
  • Spot rare Hector's dolphins playing in the surf
  • Walk across the largest wooden viaducts in New Zealand
  • Superbly located lodges with hot showers
  • Delicious home-cooked evening meals

The Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track offers an amazing wilderness walking experience. Located in the south-west corner of New Zealand’s South Island the track runs through 62km of pristine and unspoiled wilderness. In the company of experienced guides you’ll walk through a diverse range of World Heritage landscapes from sub-alpine wilderness to sea-level, including coastal terraces in the unique Waitutu Forest, once visited by Dr David Bellamy. There is also a chance you may spot some of the rare Hector's dolphins offshore or in a sheltered bay. On top of the Hump Ridge itself delight in panoramic views of Stewart Island, Lake Poteriteri, Lake Hauroko and mountain ranges deep in Fiordland National Park. On the first day of walking a helicopter will transfer your luggage to your simple lodge accommodation high on a ridge and also provide you with a spectacular flight across Te Waewae Bay before you commence walking. (You do need to carry all your own luggage on the remaining days.) At the end of each day, relax after a hot shower in the superbly located lodges and enjoy delicious three-course meals.


You will be transferred from either Invercargill (4:35pm), Te Anau (4:30pm, on request) or Queenstown (2:00pm) to Tuatapere (timetable subject to change). On arrival you will complete some formalities at the Hump Ridge Track office before meeting your guide and fellow hikers for a tour briefing in the evening. Your accommodation for the night is close by and includes a tasty home-cooked dinner plus a hearty breakfast next morning.

Meals:  D

After breakfast you will be collected from your accommodation and driven to the trailhead at Rarakau, a drive of approx 30 minutes. A scenic helicopter ride over Te Waewae Bay delivers you to Flat Creek from where you will start walking. (You will walk the section of track that you fly over on the way back.) You will gradually climb up to the top of the Hump Ridge (approx 1000m), passing through beautiful native forest, the stunning diversity of which changes dramatically with elevation. Ascending straight up the ridge you will reach Stag Point, where the trees part and you are welcomed by views of the beautiful Te Waewae Bay once more - this time from a different perspective. From here it’s only an hour or so to the lodge, and on clear days you will be able to see Stewart Island and of course the Fiordland mountains and lakes nearby. When you arrive at Okaka, the lodge ‘on top of the world,’ all you have to do is unwind as you admire the views. You'll feel instantly at home with our lodge manager’s delicious cooking and hospitality.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast you wander down the Hump Ridge, with 360 degree views of Te Waewae Bay, Stewart Island, the South Coast, Waitutu terraces and Fiordland mountain ranges. While you are walking over several mighty wooden viaducts on the way to Port Craig Village, consider the men who built them almost a century ago. Your guide will share many stories from the days when Port Craig was a bustling sawmill town in the 1920s. If you are interested in the history and relics that surround Port Craig, choose to take the interpretive trail or just meander down to the beach and spot some of the resident Hector’s dolphins that live in the bay. On arrival at the lodge, your friendly lodge manager will welcome you. After a brief orientation the time is yours to explore or simply relax and put your feet up, enjoying the coastal ambience.

Meals:  B,L,D

To complete the track, you will first walk beneath a canopy of native bush, then along several beautiful golden beaches. One such beach is named Blowholes due to the funnel of rocks through which waves surge as they come to shore. Walking along the section of track over which you flew on the first day, the coastline affords a spectacular finish to a fantastic trip. At the end of the walk you will be driven from the trailhead at Rarakau back to Tuatapere where you farewell your guide. Connect with your transfer to return to either Queenstown or Invercargill (Invercargill is recommended as there are evening flights through to Christchurch). Arrival in Invercargill 4:30pm and Queenstown around 6:00pm.

Meals:  B,L


  • 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
  • Fruit and snacks while walking
  • One night accommodation in Tuatapere, twin share with linen and shared bathrooms
  • Two nights simple lodge accommodation on a twin share basis with linen and shared hot showers
  • Return transfers from Queenstown or Invercargill to Tuatapere
  • Transfers to and from Tuatapere to the Rarakau trailhead
  • Helicopter transfer across Te Waewae Bay to commence walking from Flat Creek instead of Rarakau
  • Transfer of pack by helicopter (15kg maximum) to Okaka Lodge on first day of walk
  • Professional qualified guides
  • New Zealand Goods and Services Tax (GST)

  • International or domestic flights and taxes
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • All beverages, other than at breakfast
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment by bringing your own drink bottle or hydration system)
  • Personal expenses (e.g. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Hiking pack plus small daypack to use on first day of walking while your main pack is flown into Okaka Lodge
  • Personal equipment such as rainwear, gaiters, walking boots, walking poles etc
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visa (if required)
  • Tips




A moderate to high level of fitness is required to complete this walk. If you are not a regular walker we suggest you begin a daily walking regime 6-8 weeks before departure, gradually increasing the distance you walk, carrying a backpack. Staircase or hill-climbing is strongly recommended to increase endurance and leg strength as on the first day of the walk you climb over 800m. The track surfaces vary from smooth well-formed paths to rough terrain broken by rocks and tree roots. We therefore recommend you wear hiking boots, which provide firm ankle support. You should wear these at least once a week during your training so that they are well broken-in before your trip.

Departure dates



Want to organise a customised tour?

School groups, friends, family trips, corporate events and even making the trail accessible for everyone. Learn how you can organise a Customised Tour with Great Walks of New Zealand.

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Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Hump Ridge Track Challenge 2023 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 walk with us

Self-Guided Experts

Our itineraries have been carefully designed and researched with you in mind.  The logistics are handled for you allowing you the freedom to walk New Zealand at a level of your choosing and in your own stride.


A core Maori value exercising guardianship in relation to nature, flora and fauna and its people, ensuring that sustainability and environment are valued, respected and protected for future generations to enjoy.

Supporting Local

As a small business ourselves, we love supporting and sharing New Zealand with other small and likeminded businesses and communities to showcase for you, what our land and people have to offer.

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