Walking the length of NZ's main divide

  • 150 – 300 days one way
  • Hard

A guide to one possible route from East Cape to West Cape, the length of NZ's main divide.

(work in progress)

Key information
Walking time
150 – 300 days
One way
One way
Where do I start - this trip has everything! Grades explained
No bookings — open access
No — open access
Find it
East Cape
West Cape
Sea level – 2,190m
Altitude change 2,190m

This track provides links to those bits of this route that have been written up.


North Island

East Cape to Motu Road - (Raukumaras)

Route guide: Raukumara East-West Traverse



Motu Road to SH2 (Waioeka) - (Urutawas)

Route guide: Urutawa Crossing: Motu Road to Waioeka Gorge


SH2 (Waioeka) to SH38 (Waikaremoana Summit) - (Waioeka / Urewera)
Route guide: A Waioeka - Urewera crossing: Redpaths Road to SH38


SH38 (Waikaremoana Summit) to SH5 (Rangataiki) - Whirinaki
Route guide: A Whirinaki crossing - Waikaremoana Road Summit to Rangitaiki Tavern


SH5 (Rangataiki) to Napier-Taihape Rd at Kurikapango - (Kaimanawa / Kawekas)
Route guide: The Kaweka Main Range - a NS traverse


Kurikapango to SH3 (Woodville ) - (Ruahines)
To be written , but an older trip report,  heading south-north is here:

Walking the length of the Ruahines


Woodville to Rimutaka Hill Rd summit (SH2) - Tararuas

Route guide: A Total Tararua Traverse


Rimutaka Hill Rd summit (SH2) - Wellington - (Rimutakas)

And optionally - Haurangis

Route guide (south->north) Haurangi North-South Tarck



South Island

Picton to Okaramio (SH6) - Richmond Ranges (east)

Route Guide:  Route Guide: Richmond Ranges (east)


Okamario to St Arnaud - Richmond Ranges (west)

Route Guide: Route Guide: Richmond Ranges (west) main ridge


St Arnaud to Lewis Pass (Nelson Lakes)

Route Guide: Route Guide: St Arnaud to Lewis Pass


Lewis Pass to Otira

To be written, but covered in the following:

Nina - Devilskin -  Doubtful - Lake Man -  Hope Kiwi:

(article here on site, but can't find it...)

Harper Pass: Harper Pass - Kiwi Saddle


Otira to Mt Cook Village:

Route Guide:

Part 1 - Route Guide: Otira to Mt Cook Village (pt 1)

Part 2 - Route Guide: Otira to Mt Cook Village (pt 2)

Trip reports (parts of trip):

Crossing the Clyde and Havelock - brushes with the Canterbury Death


Mt Cook Village to Makarora:

To be written


Makaroroa ro Aspiring Roadend

To be written, but covered here:

Route guide: Rabbit Pass - Wilkin to East Matukituki


Everything south of the Aspiring roadend ...

To be walked





This track needs a photograph.
ID 10244

About this track

Added 4 June 2014 by madpommadpom. 9 revisions, most recently 5 September 2014 by madpommadpom.
190 views in the past year (16 per month).