(draft) Trip: Default
Distance: 128.6 km (60.5 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 1m to 1060m. Gain: 4372m. Loss: 4290m . Gradient: 4 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) - Occasional rivers (3/6) Winter - Iceaxe/crampons (4/7)


From Track Burn to Rarakau carpark via South Coast Track
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Distance: 6.8 km (2.5 DOC hours) - Benched track - Easy terrain
Altitude: 1m to 66m. Gain: 142m. Loss: 109m . Gradient: 2 deg (Gentle)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

The south coast track follows the coastline from Track Burn to the roadend at the Rarakau carpark. For the 1st 4km there is the option of a rough 4wd track or walking on the flat sandy beach if tide permits. At the Waikau RIver you must rejoin the 4WD track, running behind some baches, crossing the river on an impressive bridge, then climbing steeply up the bluffs to the flat terraces above via 130 steps. The final 2km to the carpark is a pleasant winding gravelled / boardwalked track through lush native bush.

All rivers / streams are bridged

Created by: Madpom on 2018-06-15. Experienced: 2018-06-12

From Teal Bay Hut to Track Burn via The Hump
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Distance: 16.2 km (8.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 14m to 1060m. Gain: 1076m. Loss: 1220m . Gradient: 8 deg (Moderate)
Skills: Alpine weather (2/7) Winter - Iceaxe/crampons (4/7)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

A reasonable tramping track runs south through bush just above the lake shore to the next bay south of Teal Bay, where a DOC signpost marks the turnoff to The Hump. The track up to the hump was extensively recut & remarked by Permolat Southland volunteers in mid September, 2018. After about 2km the track starts to climb a clear defined spur & the track becomes more obvious on dry ground in low undergrowth. A steep 1.5km climb leads to the bushedge, from where a poled route leads across tops of tussock & low scrub. The route passes over pts 1006, 1054 & The Hump, were there are remains of a trig station.

From The Hump, continue south along the range, passing through a low, scrubby saddle & climbing part-way up to the next high point. The route then swings left (east) down the obvious spur. The turn off the main ridge is well marked with waratahs & a post.

A brief scrubby descent leads into marshy beech forest, soon passing the foundations of an old hut (Hump Hut). A boggy low climb sidles just north of pt 847 bypassing the highpoint. A steady continuous descent though increasingly logged forest follows, eventually exiting onto a 4WD forestry track. The main forestry track is then followed a further 4.5km to the junction with the main coast track at the Track Burn.

5-8 hours

Last updated by: Reidpaulnz at 2020-05-28 03:55:33. Experienced: 2018-09-15

From Lake Poteriteri Hut to Teal Bay Hut via marked route
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Distance: 15.3 km (9.0 DOC hours) - Marked route - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 29m to 431m. Gain: 554m. Loss: 425m . Gradient: 4 deg (Moderate)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

A marked route connects Teal Bay Hut and Lake Poteriteri Hut.

A good cut track runs east inland from Poteriteri Hut for about 3km, until the end of the intensive trapping zone is reached and the track cutting ends. From here the route is well marked but not cut. It continues east to the base of the hills before climbing steeply and then twisting its way along ridgelines, skirting pts 452, 459, 269, before dropping into the Wairaurahiri. The bush in this section is mostly dry with low undergrowth and good going.

From where the route hits the Wairaurahiri valley floor to the swingbridge is slow going The valley floor is marshy and thick with fern and windfall. The route slogs 1.5km through this, crossing a couple of creeks before climbing onto the low valleyside to their north. Going does not improve with wet boggy overgrown ground and plenty of windfall all the way to Rata Burn. This entire section is marked and uncut and requires care not to loose the route. Rata Burn is crossed on a walkwire, as it the main Wairaurahiri.

The marked route follows the eastern shore of lake Hauroko from the swingbridge to Teal Bay Hut, 2km to the north. The turn-off to The Hump is about half way to the hut and is signposted.

5-9 hours

Last updated by: Madpom at 2018-06-14 01:37:53. Experienced: 2018-06-12

From Slaughterburn Hut to Lake Poteriteri Hut via Ridgeline (east)
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Distance: 17.5 km (12.0 DOC hours) - Unmarked route, clear - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 28m to 471m. Gain: 1130m. Loss: 1139m . Gradient: 7 deg (Moderate)
Skills:
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

A well-used but mostly unmarked route runs down the ridgeline / escarpment east of Lake Poteriteri between Slaughterburn and Poteriteri Hut. Times vary hugely from sub-5 hours to 21 hours with the majority in the 12-14 hour timeframe. It's hard to see why such variance - the unmarked route is through low-gradient, fairly open bush, so vegetation and terrain are not the issue. I suspect from hut book comments that the main delay is people seeking out 'the track', rather than following the terrain.

Slaughterburn to pt292

From the eastern end of the swingbridge at the confluence of the Slaughterburn and Waitutu, head north along the low terrace from the bridge. Soon (2-300m) a 20-30m high slope appears to your right: climb it. At the top you will find open bush and a good ground trail running north along the top of the escarpment, with occasional bait stations marked in pink/yellow. Follow escarpment / ridgeline / bait stations over pt149, pt139, pt246 and to pt292. The bait station line ends just north of the highpoint.

pt292 to pt144

This middle section of the route is not marked: good compass skills required. Just north of pt292 a saddle drops due west, leading to the continuation of the main ridgeline. Follow the main ridgeline generally NW over pt388. The saddle west to pt 316 can be tricky to find and has thick fern so can be slow - take your time and get it right. From pt316 the ridgeline is fairly clear heading due west to pt267 across an otherwise featureless plateau. Beyond pt267 the ridgeline vanishes, and I took a bearing of 40 degrees and continued along it across featureless boggy but open forest floor until I intersected the escarpment above Lake Poteriteri just before the climb to pt475.

A creek NW of pt328 gives the only water along the route, with good camping on a clearing on the escarpment overlooking Lake Poteriteri 100m north of it.

Follow the edge of the escarpment as it climbs to pt475 - there's a good ground trail. Head due north off pt475 and pick up the spur dropping due north before dropping NW between the two creeks. Again, locating the start of the spur can be tricky. At around the 100m contour the steady descent becomes gentler and a terrace leads north across the small creek and down to the boggy saddle with pt144. Avoiding the worst of the windfall and small bluffs, climb steeply onto pt144.

Pt144 to Poteriteri Hut

A marked trapline runs from pt144 to Poteriteri Hut. Markers are blue and yellow triangles. The line follows the ridge down over pt144, pt112 to the edge of the swamp south of the hut. Follow the edge of the swamp 100m west to the lakeshore where there is a good beach. The small creek is crossed on a walkwire. The hut is on the beach 300m beyond.

5-14hrs

Last updated by: Madpom at 2018-06-14 01:23:28. Experienced: 2018-06-11

From Waitutu Hut to Slaughterburn Hut via Trapline WTL (true left)
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Distance: 6.8 km (3.0 DOC hours) - Marked route - Moderate terrain
Altitude: 12m to 108m. Gain: 259m. Loss: 234m . Gradient: 4 deg (Gentle)
Skills: - Streams (2/6)
GPX info source: Uploaded from GPS

Traplines lead up each bank of the Waitutu from the hut to Slaughterburn. However, the TR (west) is marshy and travel is easier on the TL (east).

From Waititu Hut cross the swingbridge to the east / TL side of the river. Climb onto the terrace and continue along the track towards Port Craig for another 100 or so, keeping an eye out for yellow triangles off in the bush to your left (north), Once you locate the yellow triangle line (labelled WTL) follow it up terraces on the true left of the Waitutu to the walkwire at the Slaughterburn/Waitutu confluence. Many other traplines branch off this one, marked with blue tringles - so stick to the yellow triangle line.

To reach the Slaughterburn Hut, cross the walkwire to the true right and follow the marked / cut DOC tramping track up the south bank of the Slaughterburn for 1km to the hut.

2-3 hours

Created by: Madpom on 2018-06-14. Experienced: 2018-06-10

From Waitutu Hut to Westies Hut via South Coast Track
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Distance: 10.1 km (5.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 2m to 62m. Gain: 210m. Loss: 194m . Gradient: 2 deg (Gentle)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

The area immediately west of Waitutu is full of dense coastal scrub. The track is poorly marked and fairly over grown for several hundred metres, and if you are coming from the west it can be very easy to miss subtle turns in the track, making for a frustrating experience.

Follow the track westwards. About 10 minutes from Waitutu Hut the track opens up and is easy to follow for the rest of the way to Westies, through a mixture of podocarp and occasional coastal manuka scrub. It follows the old telegraph line to Puysegur Point, the remains of which can still be seen in places.

After about an hour from Waitutu the track drops down between an S-bend of the Grant Burn and crosses a bridge. Shortly after, a second stream is reached (unnamed on the topomap). This stream was upper thigh deep in February 2022 when southern Fiordland was having a drought and Lakes Hauroko and Poteriteri were at least a metre down on their normal depths and the jetboats weren't running on the Wairaurahiri due to how shallow the river was, so this stream has the potential to be un-crossible after rain. There were tree logs in the stream with some rope on the eastern side, but nothing going right across so its a mystery to me how you are supposed to cross it if the water is up!

Once across, the track continues to the Aan River where the bridge is "closed" by DOC (see the DOC website for alert updates). DOC have marked a route south down the Aan to the beach, where you need to cross the river and look for a marker on the true right side, a little bit further east along the beach. Alternatively, under low flows you can walk up the gorge of the Aan and scramble up the bank directly upstream of the bridge. In Feb 2022 the Aan was ankle deep, but again there are warnings about this being uncrossable after heavy rain or high tides on the DOC website.

West of the Aan the track continues, passing inland of where older maps show Westies Hut incorrectly mapped. A short distance past the ravine shown on the topomap (an easy crossing) the well marked turn off to Westies is reached. Follow orange reflector squares through the bush to the top of the cliffs overlooking the western half of Prices Harbour. A roped route heads down around the cliff in a northwest direction to a large square of corrugated iron and pipe which is the water intake for the hut. Plunge down to the west through knee high scrub to approach the eastern end of a massive sea cave. The 2 separate buildings that make up Westies Hut lie inside.

3-5 hours one way.

Last updated by: Yarmoss at 2022-02-16 17:14:41. Experienced: 2022-02-09

From Waitutu Hut to Westies Hut via South Coast Track
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Distance: 10.1 km (5.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 2m to 62m. Gain: 210m. Loss: 194m . Gradient: 2 deg (Gentle)
Skills: - Occasional rivers (3/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

The area immediately west of Waitutu is full of dense coastal scrub. The track is poorly marked and fairly over grown for several hundred metres, and if you are coming from the west it can be very easy to miss subtle turns in the track, making for a frustrating experience.

Follow the track westwards. About 10 minutes from Waitutu Hut the track opens up and is easy to follow for the rest of the way to Westies, through a mixture of podocarp and occasional coastal manuka scrub. It follows the old telegraph line to Puysegur Point, the remains of which can still be seen in places.

After about an hour from Waitutu the track drops down between an S-bend of the Grant Burn and crosses a bridge. Shortly after, a second stream is reached (unnamed on the topomap). This stream was upper thigh deep in February 2022 when southern Fiordland was having a drought and Lakes Hauroko and Poteriteri were at least a metre down on their normal depths and the jetboats weren't running on the Wairaurahiri due to how shallow the river was, so this stream has the potential to be un-crossible after rain. There were tree logs in the stream with some rope on the eastern side, but nothing going right across so its a mystery to me how you are supposed to cross it if the water is up!

Once across, the track continues to the Aan River where the bridge is "closed" by DOC (see the DOC website for alert updates). DOC have marked a route south down the Aan to the beach, where you need to cross the river and look for a marker on the true right side, a little bit further east along the beach. Alternatively, under low flows you can walk up the gorge of the Aan and scramble up the bank directly upstream of the bridge. In Feb 2022 the Aan was ankle deep, but again there are warnings about this being uncrossable after heavy rain or high tides on the DOC website.

West of the Aan the track continues, passing inland of where older maps show Westies Hut incorrectly mapped. A short distance past the ravine shown on the topomap (an easy crossing) the well marked turn off to Westies is reached. Follow orange reflector squares through the bush to the top of the cliffs overlooking the western half of Prices Harbour. A roped route heads down around the cliff in a northwest direction to a large square of corrugated iron and pipe which is the water intake for the hut. Plunge down to the west through knee high scrub to approach the eastern end of a massive sea cave. The 2 separate buildings that make up Westies Hut lie inside.

3-5 hours one way.

Last updated by: Yarmoss at 2022-02-16 17:14:41. Experienced: 2022-02-09

From Wairaurahiri Hut to Waitutu Hut via South Coast Track
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Distance: 12.5 km (4.5 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 6m to 52m. Gain: 98m. Loss: 105m . Gradient: 1 deg (Flat)
Skills: - Streams (2/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

West of Wairuarahiri the South Coast Track follows the old telegraph line that led to Puysegur Point. The land is forested, marshy and flat and the track is slow and muddy. The two major rivers are bridged but smaller creeks are not and some are deep if good crossing logs are not present. The track is broad, well marked and easy to follow.

Encountering the Waitutu the track drops sharply and crosses the river on a swingbridge. Waitutu Hut is 400m upriver on the western bank.

3-5 hrs

Created by: Madpom on 2018-06-15. Experienced: 2018-06-07

From Edwin Burn viaduct to Wairaurahiri Hut via South Coast Track / tramway
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Distance: 6.6 km (2.0 DOC hours) - Benched track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 10m to 60m. Gain: 30m. Loss: 75m . Gradient: 1 deg (Gentle)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

The historic tramway continues west from Edwin Burn, though from here on is not so well formed and is marshy / waterlogged in places. One further viaduct is passed on the way - at Francis Burn. The tramway ends at the escarpment 1km before the hut and a rough, boggy tramping track runs the last kilometer to the river. The hut sits beside the swingbridge on the riverbank in a large clearing.

1.5-2 hrs

Created by: Madpom on 2018-06-15. Experienced: 2018-06-07

From Port Craig School Hut to Edwin Burn viaduct via South Coast Track / tramway
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Distance: 8.7 km (3.0 DOC hours) - Road - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 25m to 78m. Gain: 169m. Loss: 143m . Gradient: 2 deg (Flat)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

An old logging tramway runs west from Port Craig. This is not the rough bush tramway affair you ay expect but a broad railway base on a surveyed line with cuttings, embankments and tall viaducts more reminiscent of a major rail line. The rails have gone but sleepers and railway spike remain to frustrate the tramper.

A private staff hut is passed at the first major viaduct - Percy Burn. The signposted turnoff to Okaka Lodge via the Hump Ridge Track lies just beyond the next viaduct at Edwin Burn.

2-3 hrs

Last updated by: Madpom at 2018-06-15 02:42:56. Experienced: 2018-06-07

From Pipi Tuaraki Stream to Port Craig School Hut via South Coast Track
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Distance: 8.3 km (3.0 DOC hours) - Tramping track - Easy-moderate terrain
Altitude: 4m to 130m. Gain: 274m. Loss: 262m . Gradient: 4 deg (Gentle)
Skills: - Streams (2/6)
GPX info source: Drawn on map

A good tramping track winds through mature bush from Pipi Tuaraki Stream to Port Craig. The track sidles in and out of numerous side valleys, well back from the coast so the views are of tree trunks rather than beaches. The muddiest parts of the track have been gravelled. As you near Port Craig the tall mature forest cede to low regenerating bush until you finally emerge into the small clearing at Port Craig School Hut. The many small sidestreams are not all bridged, but should not pose problems to cross.

2-3 hrs

Created by: Madpom on 2018-06-15. Experienced: 2018-06-06

From Track Burn to Pipi Tuaraki Stream via South Coast Track
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Distance: 2.9 km (1.0 DOC hours) - Benched track - Easy terrain
Altitude: 6m to 35m. Gain: 78m. Loss: 81m . Gradient: 3 deg (Gentle)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

A gravelled, benched tramping track winds south 100m back from the coast from Track Burn. Passing through thick, mature bush there are few views though the sound of the surf is close by. The first major creek reached is Pipi Tuaraki Stream, and a signposted track junction lies just beyond, where The Hump Ridge Track branches off the South Coast Track. All major streams are bridged.

Created by: Madpom on 2018-06-15. Experienced: 2018-06-06

From Track Burn to Rarakau carpark via South Coast Track
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Distance: 6.8 km (2.5 DOC hours) - Benched track - Easy terrain
Altitude: 1m to 66m. Gain: 142m. Loss: 109m . Gradient: 2 deg (Gentle)
Skills:
GPX info source: Drawn on map

The south coast track follows the coastline from Track Burn to the roadend at the Rarakau carpark. For the 1st 4km there is the option of a rough 4wd track or walking on the flat sandy beach if tide permits. At the Waikau RIver you must rejoin the 4WD track, running behind some baches, crossing the river on an impressive bridge, then climbing steeply up the bluffs to the flat terraces above via 130 steps. The final 2km to the carpark is a pleasant winding gravelled / boardwalked track through lush native bush.

All rivers / streams are bridged

Created by: Madpom on 2018-06-15. Experienced: 2018-06-12


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