Tin Range

Rakiura National Park

  • 2 days one way
  • Medium/hard

This route traverses a remote range on Stewart Island, formerly home to tin miners and the country's last wild kakapo population.

Tin Range: Key information
Walking time
2 days
13 hr – 15 hr
One way
One way
No bookings — open access
No — open access
Tin Range: Find it
Surveyors Track, just west of Diprose Bay, Port Pegasus, Stewart Island
Rakeahua Hut, South West Arm, Paterson Inlet, Stewart Island
Sea level – 750m
Altitude change 750m

Note: Information here is indicative only, and based on information found elswhere online. Do your own research!

The Diprose Bay Tramway was constructed between 1912 and 1915. It extended extended from Diprose Bay in Port Pegasus up the western side of the Tin Range, past the trig at point 504m. This tramline was used for the extraction of cassiterite, or tin ore. This ore is visible in local streams as a heavy black sand. The path of the tramline is currently being cleared by volunteers, but this is still a work in progress, with parts heavily overgrown. Sleepers and some rails remain, some of which are wooden. Some extra tracks were reopened in the area by the Kakapo Project in the 1990sThese may still be visible on the ground. 

A better route is via the Surveyors Track which starts off at an hotel site about 500m west of the tramline and soon meets up with it. This track was cut in 1888/89 in order to survey the tin mining claims. ‚ÄčThis is reported to be a clear route today. Walking time is around 3-4 hours, passing an old dam site along the way and reaching the mine site and trig.

From near the dam site, a track sets of onto the tops. A cairned route follows the line of the range, passing Mount Allen (750m) within about 4 hours. From Blaikies Hill, marker poles lead across the range toward Rakeahua Hut. Walking time from Mount Allen is 6-7 hours. There is also reported to be a marked track between Doughboy Bay and Mount Allen, which could make an interesting loop. Rakeahua can be a busy hut and short of space.

Note that there are a number of hut sites and mining relics in the area. These are all protected by law. There are also many prospecting pits scattered on the landscape that are up to 1.5m deep and can make for hazardous walking. The tops of the range are low altitude but exposed, and can be very wet and windy with little shelter, and visibility can be poor.

This track needs a photograph.
ID 8601

About this track

Added 11 May 2013 by matthewmatthew. 1 revision 11 May 2013 by matthewmatthew.
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