How did you walk the Heaphy Track?
Hey all, I'm planning on walking the Heaphy track later this year and was wondering for those who have already done it what direction you walked and how many nights you spent as well as what huts you stayed in along the way?? Did you feel like you could have spent longer on the track or do you think you should have done it quicker? Let me know your thoughts! Thanks heaps
Planned itinerary was - - Shuttle to Brown Hut 0800. 5hrs to Perry saddle Hut. - Mackay Hut 5-6 hrs - Heaphy Hut 5-6hrs - Kohaihai River Mouth. Shuttle to Last Resort, Karamea. Fine weather first day, but light rain the rest. Auckland was copping flooding at the time. So, didn't really linger at any potential points of interest. Suggest you take cushy socks, maybe a clean pair for each day, as the track is hard-surfaced for mountain biking. Warden reckoned hikers pack it down. Mountain bikers rip it up. Once you get down to Lewis Hut, at Coastal altitude, the sandflies get vicious.
I've done the track twice, it's fairly easy in my view, I started both times from the coast, the first time I was solo and hiked to Lewis Hut on day one, then Gouland Downs on day two, then out on day three. Last time I did it we went Heaphy Hut, Saxon Hut, then the last campsite halfway down the hill from Perry Saddle. The river at Heaphy Hut is amazing to swim in, there is a swimming hole out behind Saxon Hut which you would never guess looking at the area, Gouland Downs is the coolest hut in my view. Have fun. Beautiful walk!
One of my favourite walks. Have done it three times, twice from Brown Hut and once from the coast. Starting at Brown Hut wins for me. Nicer walk and nice finish to arrive at the coast and finish with a night in Karamea. One walk was in August, with ice on the side of the track. Fabulous. Three nights is okay, four even better if you have the time. Love the Gouland Downs area, especially in misty rainy weather.
I did it with my sister and her 11 year old twin boys. One lad got blisters, poor wee sod but soldiered on. Then the rain started and he slipped and fell in a back eddy in a side creek. While I was laughing, his mum jumped in and fished him out smartly as the Heaphy was very nearby and in flood with water on the track! There was a fresh slip we had to cross and the lads were a bit nervous of that and then the final worry was a suspension footbridge so we had to coax them across. Needless to say one twin never wanted a bar of tramping after that but the one who didn't get the blister/immersion was still keen so we did the Rees/Dart the next year with him.
When I did it we went from east to west which I think is great because walking down next to the beach is a beautiful way to finish the trip. What I would not recommend is ripping through in two days like we did! Even though the walking is easy the track is pretty solid underfoot and my feet were killing me by the afternoon of the second day — took all the enjoyment out of the final walk by the beach. (FWIW, 2 days was not our original plan. Was meant to be 3 days over Queen's Birthday weekend but my mate got held up having to work most of the Saturday so ended up heading over from Blenheim Saturday afternoon/evening, staying at Brown hut then walking through to McKay Hut for Sunday night and out on the Monday.)
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