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

Waitutu Track Freedom Plus Itinerary


DAY 1: Arrive in Tuatapere

Check in to Shooters Backpackers, Tuatapere’s newest accommodation. Wander along the road to the Tuatapere Information Centre to collect your accommodation passes and make plans for the next few days.

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

Walk 6 – 8 hours / 17km

Track Transport departs Tuatapere 7.30am for 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 you 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.

Your 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. Access to country like this is why the Hamilton jet was invented. Return by road to Tuatapere.


Accommodation is based on shared bunk rooms. In Tuatapere we stay at Shooters Backpackers. Double rooms or twin singles are available on request as an option.
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 at Port Craig we even serve free porridge for breakfast! Bunk rooms have 4 to 8 people. Toilets are in shared facilities. There is a Lodge Manager based full time in both huts in summer.
A premium room with hot shower is available at Port Craig Village as an upgrade option. Hot showers are available at Waitutu Lodge.

Departure Dates

From November to April we have daily departures subject to availability. Minimum numbers may apply. 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!

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 about 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 Waitutu Track Freedom Plus package includes 3 nights accommodation, track transport and jet boat trip on the Wairaurahiri River.
The price per person is NZ$495 including GST. Prices are valid to 1 November 2012.