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CURRENT ALERTS
Otira Flood Track
The "Otira flood track" from the Taramakau to the Deception River (Morrison foot-bridge) is completely unmaintained, it has landslides, fallen trees, poor marking, and is overgrown, if the Otira River is high it is also dangerous to traverse - again absolute care and good decision making is essential!

Harper Pass
The Taramakau River below Kiwi Hut has washed away most of the track - expect numerous random river crossings!

Te Araroa Trail - Arthur's Pass Area

Visit www.teararoa.org.nz for more detailed information of the entire route.

IMPORTANT STUFF about the Arthur's Pass sections

  • Arthur's Pass is the most undeveloped National Park in New Zealand, what that means to you is...
    • Very few or no bridges across our rivers!
    • You only get track where you need track!
    • Don't expect continuous track marking, much of the route through Arthur's Pass National Park is not marked (Route Only - this means you navigate yourself)!
    • The general water quality is great, and you can drink water from most streams without fear of sickness - use common sense of course!
    • Aircraft are not permitted in the Park except in emergencies or for park management - this is a good thing!
  • Because we have very few bridges...
    • If rain is forecast for the area (Check the forecast out HERE) you should amend your plans for possible extra nights at Locke Stream Hut, Kiwi Hut, Upper Deception Hut, Goat Pass Hut, Hamilton Hut or West Harper Hut, as the rivers and side-streams around these huts can rise rapidly to uncrossable & dangerous levels!
    • Never walk into a river that is flowing discoloured enough that you cannot see your feet on the bottom - the currents will be extremely strong!
    • The Deception River can be quite dangerous - the first couple of crossings at the lower and top ends may be OK, but the multiple crossings in its central section can be extremely swift and deep!
    • If you have the opportunity to join up with other trampers doing the routes through Arthur's Pass do so! Practice your river crossing skills (especially the "waist belt & pack strap" technique) as a group formation! Download this PDF File (1.82MB) for more information on river crossing safety!
  • The "flood route" from the lower Taramakau River to the Morrison foot-bridge at the Deception junction is very difficult to follow. It has landslides, many fallen trees and poor marking. It should only be used in an absolute emergency to exit the Taramakau Valley, not enter it!
  • Lake Coleridge Area Issues
    • The area between the Harper River and the Glenrock Trailhead remains a logistical problem for many Te Araroa trampers. Most issues are arising because of conflict between private property owners and campers due to the long distances and poor hitch-hiking opportunites. The only available campsites are located near Harper Village and at the Rakaia Gorge. No camping is available at Lake Coleridge Village, or any of the high-country lakes on route.

      Note: The Rakaia River is a dangerous foot-crossing between Lake Coleridge and Rakaia Gorge. There is no access between Harper River - Mt Algidus Station - Glenrock Station.
Deception and Otira Rivers in flood
Deception and Otira Rivers in flood
Otira River in flood
Otira River in flood
Lake Coleridge area

Overview - New Zealand

Te Araroa - New Zealand's Trail - is a continuous 3,000 km walking track from Cape Reinga to Bluff.

Te Araroa is the ultimate 120-day New Zealand experience, but also offers section tramps lasting anything from a few days to a week or more, and many attractive day or overnight walks. It is a different kind of trail from the traditional back-country tramping tracks. Te Araroa connects settlements, townships and cities. It's a corridor that encourages social and economic transactions en route- for marae stays and other cultural experiences, also food and accommodation. The track corridor showcases a wide variety of New Zealand experiences - natural, cultural, and historic.

Te Araroa's boundaries are the natural boundaries of New Zealand itself. It starts and is brought to a natural halt against the sea. En route it explores New Zealand's tombolos, its volcanoes, its range and mountain uplift, its rivers, lakes and valleys. Successful long trails overseas generally have a geographic and geological unity. Te Araroa's variety is underpinned by the mightiest geology of all -tectonic plate subduction. When walking New Zealand, you are walking also the Pacific Plate boundary or - at least sometimes - along the Rim of Fire.

Te Araroa Trail

Overview - Arthur's Pass

Te Araroa sets out on an historic crossing of the Main Divide via the Harper Pass Track. East of the Alps travel is straight-forward through grassy cattle flats, beech forest and past a spring-fed hot pool that offers a soak in splendid isolation. The trail crosses the Divide at Harper Pass and descends west. It's more rugged and wet here, the forest changes and there are major rivers to negotiate. The diversion west is brief as Te Araroa bounces east again over Goat Pass on a route renowned as the mountain running section of the Coast to Coast Race. South of Arthur's Pass the track passes through Craigieburn Forest Park to the High Country.

Supplies in Arthur's Pass

(See supply lists to right >>>)

The Arthur's Pass Store & Cafe (8am - 5pm daily) has very limited provisions available, but can provide the basics.

The DOC Visitor Centre (8am - 5pm daily) can supply weather & track advice, dehydrated meals, limited outdoor equipment, gas cylinders, maps etc.

The closest town with a proper supermarket, outdoor shops etc is Greymouth (100km away).

Resupply Parcels (aka bounce boxes)

Arthur's Pass Village does not have a publicly accessible Post Office, nor can you send outgoing parcels from Arthur's Pass!

  • The Mountain House YHA WILL accept and hold parcels for guests for NZ$10; however if you are not staying a service charge of NZ$20 WILL apply for holding your parcel. Visit their website for more information.
  • The Arthur's Pass Visitor Centre will also accept resupply parcels. A donation of NZ$10 is required to reclaim your parcels. Email them on arthurspassvc@doc.govt.nz to make arrangements. Their address is...

    [Your Name][Date of arrival]
    C/O Arthur's Pass Visitor Centre
    80 Main Road (PO Box 51008),
    Arthur's Pass 7654.

Showers & Laundry Facilities in Arthur's Pass

If you are staying at one of the accommodation places they provide showers and laundry facilities for their guests only! Campsites do not have showers. You can try and obtain a "casual shower" at the Sanctuary Backpackers only (300m north of the Visitor Centre)... look for the door marked "Shower", if it is open you will score yourself a $2 shower!

Arthur's Pass Village
SUPPLY LIST
(Click Here to open in own window)

ARTHUR'S PASS VISITOR CENTRE
  • Backcountry Dehydrated Meals
  • Batteries AA + AAA
  • Beanies
  • Biltong Jerky
  • Boot Waterproofing Polish
  • Bowls
  • Butane Gas Cannister (screw type only)
  • Compass
  • Cups
  • Emergency Blankets
  • First Aid Kits
  • Fleece Jackets
  • Foam Sleeping Mats
  • Gas Stoves
  • Gloves (Wool & Thermal)
  • Hand Torches
  • Head Torches
  • Insect Repellant
  • Knife/Fork/Spoon Sets
  • Maps (Topographic)
  • Pack-liners
  • Pot / Billy
  • Rain Jackets
  • Route Guides
  • Safety Whistles
  • Socks
  • Spades (Toilet)
  • Sunscreen Lotion
  • Survival Bags
  • Tent Pegs (Steel)
  • Thermal Underwear
  • Walking Poles
ARTHUR'S PASS STORE
  • 2 Minute Noodles
  • Backcountry Dehydrated Meals
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Batteries AA + AAA + 9V
  • Biltong Jerky
  • Bread
  • Breakfast Cereals
  • Candles
  • Cheese (Blue, Camembert, Feta, Tasty )
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee - Instant & Plunger
  • Couscous
  • Cracker Biscuits
  • Dehydrated Peas
  • Disposable Shavers
  • Flour - Plain & Self Raising
  • Fruit Chutney
  • Hayfever Tablets
  • Honey
  • Insect Repellant
  • Jams (in jars)
  • Lip Balm
  • Margarine
  • Mayonnaise
  • Methylated Spirits (NO White Spirit)
  • Milk
  • Nurofen Tablets - Ibuprofen
  • Panadol Tablets
  • Pasta - Dry
  • Peanut Butter
  • Powdered Milk
  • Rice
  • Rice Bran Oil
  • Rice Risotto
  • Rolled Oates (Porridge)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Sausages (frozen)
  • Shaved Ham
  • Shoe & Boot Laces
  • Sugar - White & Raw
  • Sweet Biscuits
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Taco Mix Powder
  • Taco Shells
  • Tampons
  • Teabags - Herbal & normal
  • Tinned Fruit
  • Toilet Paper
  • Tomato Paste (in jars)
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Tooth Brushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Tuna Cans - 95g
  • Vegemite
  • Weetbix

Bypass Transport Options

When rivers are running high and you would rather be indoors than out, your only real option is to put that thumb out. Best hitch-hiking locations are...

  • Taramakau track-head (Aickens. 23km to Arthur's Pass. 11km to Otira)
  • Morrison foot-bridge (Aickens. 20km to Arthur's Pass. 8km to Otira)
  • Outside Wilderness Lodge farm-gate (Bealey. 14.5km to Arthur's Pass)
  • Greyney's Shelter (Mingha River. 5.5km to Arthur's Pass)
  • West out of Arthur's Pass - go 50m west of the "The Store"
  • East out of Arthur's Pass - stand near the railway pedestrian underpass, 200m from Visitor Centre
Hitch to Arthur's Pass

Resources & Planning

  • www.teararoa.org.nz - Just about answers all your questions about the route. Trail notes, Google Earth & GPX Files of Te Araroa, Maps (TIFF).
  • Facebook Public Page - Link up with other travellers for advice & share experiences etc
  • www.metservice.com - Up to the minute weather forecasts for all of New Zealand.
  • www.topomap.co.nz - Your online, free resource for NZ topographic maps.
  • www.xtremegourmet.com - High energy, lightweight recipes for the outdoor enthusiast. E-Book & Paperback available.
Resources & Planning

Arthur's Pass Sections

HARPER PASS TRACK

Northern Start: St James carpark at Boyle Village - Lewis Pass Rd SH 7

Southern End: SH 73 at the Morrison footbridge

Distance: 86.5km

Time: 4 - 6 days

Tramping Standard: Tramping track and Route Only

Route Guides: Harper Pass route (south - north) (PDF 1.61MB)

Description (north to south): This tramp follows an historic crossing of the Southern Alps at Harper Pass (962m).

Maori used the route to access pounamu (greenstone) on the West Coast and European settlers used it for access and supply purposes during the gold rush of in the 1860s. Harper Pass is named after Leonard Harper who at 20 years of age became the first European to cross the pass and reach the West Coast in 1857.

The route fell into disuse from 1867 following the development of an alternative route through Arthur's Pass, which provided more direct access to the Coast.

In the 1930s the track was reopened and 4 substantial huts were constructed by the Physical Welfare Division of the Department of Internal Affairs in an attempted to recreate the Milford Track's model for tourism success. While the Harper Pass Track has never reached the Milford Track's status it still affords a quality tramping experience of relative ease.

On the West Coast side of Harper Pass the route requires numerous crossings of the Taramakau and Otehake Rivers. Trampers with river-crossings skills and experience will find these rivers passable in normal to low flows but impassable when river levels are high. Extra food should be carried to enable trampers backtrack or to wait until river levels subside.

Note: The traditional Harper Pass Track starts at Windy Point and ends at Aickens but these notes include the Tui Track and Flood Track, which link the Harper Pass Track into Te Araroa from the north and south.

More Detail Information: Visit www.teararoa.org.nz

Taramakau River
Harper Pass
Locke Stream Hut
Lake Sumner

MINGHA - DECEPTION TRACK

Northern Start: Morrison Footbridge, SH 73 - 5 km north of Otira

Southern End: Greyney's Shelter, SH 73 - about 5 km south of Arthur's Pass Village

Distance: 24.4 km

Time: 2 days

Tramping Standard: Tramping track and Route Only

Route Guides:
Mingha - Deception route (east - west) (PDF 1.61MB)
Deception - Mingha route (west - east) (PDF 1.63MB)

Description: (north to south) This route forms the mountain run component of the celebrated Coast-to-Coast race. Top athletes complete it in around 3 hours. On the Deception side the track is rough and not regularly marked. However, in good conditions it is a reasonable route which most trampers take 2 days to complete.

The route involves many (20 - 30) river crossings so is very vulnerable to bad weather. Don't attempt it in rain or when rain is forecast. Come prepared to wait out flood conditions. You should choose all your own river-crossing locations, do not believe rock cairns left behind by other trampers as the river changes after every flood!

The area is home to rare and protected blue duck/whio. DOC asks for sightings to be reported to staff at the Visitor Centre in Arthur's Pass.

More Detail Information: Visit www.teararoa.org.nz

Deception River
Goat Pass Hut

KLONDYKE TRACK

Warning: there is substantial road-works taking place on this section from 2016-2017, avoid active machinery and follow any sign-posted directions. It can be a bit of a nightmare trying to find the DOC tracks, failing that, walk along the highway carefully, facing into oncoming traffic!

Northern Start: Greyney Shelter Campsite (SH 73)

Southern End: Car park Cora Lynn Rd

Distance: 9 km

Time: 2 to 3 hours

Tramping Standard: Tramping track & Highway Walking

Description: (north to south) The Klondyke Track is a Te Araroa specific link. At this point in time it reduces, but does not completely eliminate, the road connection between the Deception-Mingha and Harper River Tracks.

The track starts on SH73 at Greyneys Shelter Campsite and heads south, initially on the road shoulder but soon diverts to the Bealey River margin. This is from the left hand side of the road. The track then heads towards Klondyke Corner Campsite, a basic campsite with a pavilion, carpark and toilets.

The track beyond Klondyke Corner remains on the true right bank of the Bealey River. There are occasional marker poles which lead to the Waimakariri River confluence. Cross the river, as water levels allow, and climb up to the Bealey Spur settlement. If the Waimakariri is running high, trampers are able to cross on the road bridge, about 1 km to the west, be careful it is one lane and very long!

The Bealey Hotel, which is 12 km east of Arthur's Pass and 150 km west of Christchurch is a good point where trampers can organize transport with most operators passing on their way to Arthur's Pass or Christchurch.

From Bealey Spur, continue east on SH 73 and follow the road's shoulder to Cora Lynn Rd. Turn right here and walk past the Arthur's Pass Wilderness Lodge and through the gate marked "Cass-Lagoon Track". The track ends at the car park a short distance further along.

Bealey Hut (6-bunks) is a five minute walk beyond the car park, up the track and on the right hand side.

More Detail Information: Visit www.teararoa.org.nz

Waimakariri Valley - Klondyke Corner
Bealey Hut

LAGOON SADDLE - HARPER RIVER TRACK

Northern Start: Cora Lynn Rd off SH 73

Southern End: Harper Rd

Distance: 33.2 km

Time: 2 - 3 days

Tramping Standard: Tramping track and Route Only

Description: (north to south) The track starts at the sign-posted carpark off Cora Lynn Rd, about 14 km east of Arthur's Pass on SH 73. Refer the link on this page for more details.

The initial section, to Hamilton Hut, is on DOC's Cass Saddle-Lagoon Saddle Track and through Craigieburn Forest Park.

The final portion of the track is adjacent to Glenthorne Station and finishes at Harper Rd. Here trampers are able to walk a route based on a paper road, which runs proximate to the Harper River fringe.

If you need somewhere to stay then there is a free overnight campsite on Trust Power owned land about 300m distant. This is down the road marked with the "2km to Lake Coleridge" sign. The campsite is sign-posted on the left hand side of this road. Water is available from a tap in the campsite and there is a modern long-drop toilet.

Note - it is 48km from Hamilton Hut to Lake Coleridge - only the fastest walkers should attempt to do this in a day. There are NO places to camp between Harper Village and Lake Coleridge (30km) so the recommended approach is to camp at the Harper Village campsite then go from there to Lake Coleridge in a day - plan to reach Lake Coleridge before 5pm to maximise your chances of hitching a lift out to Rakaia Gorge/Methven. There is NO budget accommodation, or camping spots, in/around Lake Coleridge Village so you'll need to walk to Lake Coleridge Village and hitch out that day if you don't plan to use the local accommodation.

More Detail Information: Visit www.teararoa.org.nz

Lagoon Saddle
Hamilton Hut
Harper River Campsite


AdventureSmart - Tell someone where you are going!So you have an enjoyable and safe time during your visit to Arthur's Pass National Park follow these 5 simple rules...

1. PLAN YOUR TRIP
Seek local knowledge and plan the route you will take and the amount of time you can reasonably expect it to take.

2. TELL SOMEONE
Tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. Visit the AdventureSmart Website to file an intentions form with someone you trust!

3. BE AWARE OF THE WEATHER
New Zealand's weather can be highly unpredictable. Check the forecast and expect weather changes. Check out the Arthur's Pass Weather Forecast here.

4. KNOW YOUR LIMITS
Challenge yourself within your physical limits and experience. Learn safe ways of rescuing others without putting yourself in danger.

5. TAKE SUFFICIENT SUPPLIES
Make sure you have enough food, clothing, equipment and emergency rations for the worst-case scenario. Take an appropriate means of communication.

For more information, visit www.adventuresmart.org.nz/land-adventures


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