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

Waitutu Track Freedom Walk Itinerary

DAY 1: Rarakau Lodge Carpark, Bluecliffs Beach, Port Craig School

Walk 5 – 6 hours / 17km

From Rarakau Lodge carpark the track winds along the top of Bluecliffs Beach cliff and descents to the Waikoau River. Across a swing bridge past the Fisherman’s huts and along the beach to Track Burn.

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 School. Explore the remains on this once bustling milling town.

DAY 2: Port Craig School, Viaducts, Wairauahiri Hut.

Walk 4 – 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 Wairauahiri Hut set just on the banks of the Wairaurahiri River. Explore the Waitutu Forest and beach close by.

Percy Burn Viaduct

Percy Burn Viaduct

DAY 3: Wairauahiri Hut, Viaducts, Port Craig School

Walk 4 – 6 hours / 16km

Heading east back along the South Coast track over 4 viaducts to the Port Craig School.

DAY 4: Port Craig School, Bluecliffs Beach, Rarakau Lodge Carpark

Walk 5 – 6 hours / 17km

Walk back along bush and beach trails to the start of your walk at the Rarakau Lodge Carpark


Accommodation is in public DOC huts on a first come first served basis. The Port Craig School has room for 16 people. The Wairaurahiri Hut has room for 20 people. The huts have no gas or cooking equipment.

Departure Dates

From November to April we have daily departures. We do operate during the winter.

Getting There

Tuatapere is 86km from Invercargill and 100km from Te Anau on the Southern Scenic Route. The track office and 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. Track transport is available.

Scenic Shuttle operates a daily service departing Invercargill 2pm (pick up from 1.30pm) and Te Anau at 8:15am (pick up from 7:45am). Sausage Shuttles operates on demand from Te Anau at 5.30 pm. Shuttles from Queenstown depart at 2pm and connect via Te Anau.

On the completion of your walk we can arrange a same day shuttle to Te Anau and Queenstown. If you require transport to Invercargill you will need to stay an extra night in Tuatapere with Scenic Shuttles departing at 9.30am. Feel free to contact us to help arrange transfers from other locations.

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 11 – 16km ( 7 – 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 and will help ease the load.


Your Freedom Walk package includes 4 nights accommodation in public DOC huts. The price per person is NZ$35 including GST. Prices are valid to 1 November 2006.