Accommodation | Departure Dates | Getting There | Fitness Level | Prices

Waitutu Track Guided Walk Itinerary

DAY 1: Arrive in Tuatapere

Check in to The Waiau Hotel, recently voted New Zealand’s top country hotel. Around 5pm meet your guide and make plans for the next few days. Dine with the guide at 7.30 pm.

DAY 2: Track transport Tuatapere to Rarakau Carpark. Walk to Port Craig Village

Walk 6 to 8 hours / 16km

Track Transport departs Tuatapere 7.30am for Bluecliffs Beach and the Rarakau Carpark. The track follows the coast through bush trails and on to the beach. There is a chance to see Hectors dolphins, penguins and occasionally wales as we follow the sweeping Te Waewae Bay to Port Craig Village. Explore the remains on this once bustling milling town.

Percy Burn Viaduct

Percy Burn Viaduct

DAY 3: Viaducts, Waitutu Lodge

Walk 5 – 6 hours / 16km

Heading west along the South Coast track we cross the spectacular Percy Burn viaduct, the highest remaining wooden viaduct in the world.

Our destination tonight is the Waitutu Lodge set just across the Wairaurahiri River in the Waitutu Forest.

DAY 4: Wairaurahiri River, Lake Hauroko, Tuatapere.

Jet boating time: 1 and 1/2 hours

Take a short walk in the Waitutu Forest with giant rimu and totara trees hundreds of years old. The Wairaurahiri River is said to be New Zealand’s steepest river with rock strewn rapids leading from the southern ocean up to Lake Hauroko. No spins or twirls here. Access to country like this is why the Hamilton jet was invented. Return by road to Tuatapere.


Accommodation is based on share twin and a single supplement is available. In Tuatapere we stay at the Waiau Hotel with twin share and double rooms with ensuite.

Port Craig Village and Waitutu Lodge are modern back country huts featuring gas heating and cooking, solar lighting, flush toilets and drying rooms. All crockery and cooking equipment are provided and your track guide will even cook you porridge for breakfast! Rooms are twin single or double with shared toilet facilities.

A self contained cabin with ensuite and kitchen are available at Port Craig Village as an upgrade option. Hot showers are available. All linen is provided.

Departure Dates

From November to April we have regular guaranteed departures. Other departures are available on request with a minimum of three people or for less than three a surcharge applies. We do not typically operate during the winter…. however if you are keen and have a group of 3 or more it is always worth asking! The dates listed below are “Day 1” or the first night in Tuatapere. We depart at 7.30am on “Day 2”.

Month/Year Days
Nov 2013 15
Dec 2013 13
Jan 2014 25
Feb 2014 14
Mar 2014 14
Apr 2014 11

Getting There

Tuatapere is 86km from Invercargill, 100km from Te Anau and 195 km from Queenstown on the Southern Scenic Route. The Tuatapere Information Centre is at 31 Orawia Road. Pop in here for updates on weather and track conditions, browse the shop for all your tramping needs or check out the Bushman’s Museum.
There is a shuttle service from Te Anau to Tuatapere on Mondays and Thursdays. Charters can be arranged for groups.

Fitness Level

A moderate level of fitness is required. To enjoy your walk you need to be able to walk for 6 – 8 hours over 16km ( 10 miles ) each day. The track is a mixture of natural tracks, beach and remains of the old tramline. The track can be wet and muddy at times. Track transport is included .


Your Guided Walk package includes 3 nights accommodation, all meals, transport, concession and guiding fees, all equipment and maps. The trips are usually 4 – 6 people with a maximum of twelve.
The price per person is NZ$1 795 including GST. Children 10 to 15 subtract NZ$150. We do not recommend the track for children under 10. Prices are valid to 1 November 2012.