Altitude: 0m to 444m. Gain: 1765m. Loss: 1783m . Gradient: 5 deg (Moderate)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6) Winter - Snow/ice underfoot (2/7)
Follow track from Westies Hut along rough track to Lake Hakapoua then cross above the islands in the shallows (best to get tides right to make it easiest) continue along shallows of lake for about 3km to reach turnoff up sharp ridge to saddle. Relatively clear and easy beech forest on the ridge. Gets tighter on top, then drop down and into wetter forest of the Cavendish catchment. Cross the Cavendish and sidle steadily upward and over to get into the Fred Burn. Camp hereabouts. Set off up a tributary of the Fred Burn and grovel through awful scrub to get into clear tussock by about 450m elevation then pick up old telegraph line and follow for a while through open country then back into pretty tight going down a broad ridge to the coast, with the going getting better as you go. Good camping on beach. Follow the beach as long as you can (dependent on sea conditions - we had calm seas) and we cut steeply up from opposite a rock column stack) up on to the terrace, up and down across a few small gullies and then come out on Kiwi Burn beach. Again, follow the beach as long as you can but will need to head inland to get to Gates Harbour. Good camping here. Big day from here, up the ridge through good bush on sharp ridge and then drop into Wilson River. Careful here if high flows. steep ascent out and difficult to find much of a pack track, but enter into nice rata forest as you follow the broad spur down to 'Picnic' beach. Find old tractor track at western end of the beach and plain sailing from there to Puysegur Point and the shelter (x2) a couple of km beyond this.