Expeditions
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Dusky Track

Background

Often overlooked, or simply unknown, the Dusky Track is considered by many experienced hikers as the holy grail of New Zealand treks. The trailhead itself is accessible only by air or boat which goes some way to explaining the remoteness of this incredible journey. This expedition is open only to 5 intrepid hikers so don't be the one that misses out. 

“The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”– Eleanor Roosevelt

Who is this trip for?

Those who love mountain treks and mountain landscapes.

Those who enjoy roughing it a little by staying in mountain cabins.

Those who don't mind carrying their own pack (total weight 10-13kg) for a few days and some food provisions for the group.

Those who enjoy pushing themselves a little to gain access to wonderful landscapes and views.

Who is this trip not for?

Those who do not like roughing it (if you need a hot shower every night this trip probably isn't for you).

Those who don't have an above-average fitness.

Those who don't really enjoy being in the outdoors for too long.

If this trip is not for you we have plenty of other adventures to suit you.

Highlights

  • This is considered by many as the holy grail of New Zealand treks
  • Floatplane into Fiordland an unforgettable experience
  • Trekking rarely walked trails into deep remote parts of New Zealand
  • Trek (tramp) the Dusky Track and Dusky Sound

Overview

Make this the year you experience one of New Zealand’s most rugged and remote tramping tracks (yep that's what they call trekking and hiking in New Zealand). Dusky Sound accessible only by air, boat or if you are game – on foot!. Our adventure starts with a truly remarkable flight across the mountains of Fiordland in a floatplane to land at the head of Dusky Sound. At over 40kms in length, it is one of Fiordlands largest and most complex fiords with many islands, coves and peninsulas making up the coastline. Setting foot ashore here we spend the next five days hiking through vast glacially carved valleys, ancient rainforest, across alpine tops past massive granite outcrops and pristine tarns before finally arriving at the mystical Lake Hauroko, the deepest lake in New Zealand.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Queenstown
Day 2:
Queenstown to Te Anau (B)
Day 3: Te Anau - Float Plane to Supper Cove - Loch Maree 6-8hrs hiking (B, L, D)
Day 4: Loch Maree - Lake Roe 6-7hrs hiking (B, L, D)
Day 5: Lake Roe - Tamatea - Lake Roe 5 hrs hiking (B, L, D)
Day 6: Lake Roe - Hauroko Burn hut 8-10hrs hiking (B, L, D)
Day 7: Lake Hauroko – Te Anau - Queenstown (B, L)
Day 8: Depart for next destination(B)

Guides and Safety
An excellent guide can make the difference between a trip of a lifetime and just an ordinary trip. Our handpicked professionals come from a range of backgrounds. Each has extensive outdoor and hiking experience and a passion for New Zealand’s wild and beautiful backcountry. The guide will ensure that your trip is truly inspiring, a huge amount of fun, and safe. All guides are trained in Mountain Safety First Aid.

Routes

Day 1 Arrive in Queenstown

Make your way to your Queenstown accommodation and rest up before the big trip. 

Day 2 Queenstown to Te Anau

We will transfer you to Te Anau on a scheduled transfer service. In the evening we will meet with our guide for a pre trek briefing and make sure what we have packed is appropriate. Overnight on the lake. (B)

Day 3 Te Anau - Supper Cove - Loch Maree 6-8hrs hiking

One last chance to check gear this morning before we meet our pilot and aircraft for a 35-minute flight across the mountains to the head of Dusky Sound at ‘Supper Cove”. We will either fly by a *floatplane or helicopter depending on weather conditions and final group size. Both options are spectacular and offer an incredible overview of the vast wilderness of Fiordland’s vast forests, fiords and glaciated mountains. After landing and unloading packs we are left alone. The sense of place, tranquillity and anticipation of the adventure ahead will be profound! Time to contemplate what life would have been like for some of New Zealand’s earliest European settlers who arrived here as sealers. It is also bizarre to think that at this spot about 100 years ago 10 Canadian Moose were liberated in the hope that they would go forth and multiply and establish themselves as a big game animal in Fiordland. The last official sighting of one was in 1952, so keep your eyes peeled! Our route skirts around the head of the sound before heading inland following the original track cut by West Coast miners in 1903. This was part of an ambitious plan to build a road linking the Sound and Lake Manapouri, the track cutters only made it as far as Loch Maree before plans were abandoned. Loch Maree Hut sits on a terrace above the Seaforth River. (B,L,D)

Day 4 Loch Maree - Lake Roe 6-7hrs hiking

A hearty breakfast is required today for the hardest day of the hike! After crossing the Seaforth River the route climbs steeply on to the aptly named “Pleasant Range”. The change in vegetation is dramatic as we gain over 1000 metres from the valley floor until where the track eventually emerges out on the ridge top above the tree line. The views from here, on a clear day, are superb with wide expansive views over the Dusky Sound and outer islands. Time to enjoy the scenery and rest weary legs before wandering along the tussock covered range to Lake Roe and hut of the same name. We have allowed for a two night stay here, that way we have time for an optional climb tomorrow of nearby peak Tamatea or a “rest day”. (BLD) Reaching the bush line after the climb from Loch Maree

Day 5 Lake Roe - Tamatea - Lake Roe 5 hrs hiking

A whole day to explore the surrounding landscape, rest or climb Mt Tamatea. This involves a steady climb to the crest of the range to the north east of the hut. Tamatea was the name early Maori gave to Dusky Sound and the Peak stands like a sentinel looking out over the fiord and surrounding mountains. The saddle below Mt Tamatea, Dusky Sound in the background

Day 6 Lake Roe - Hauroko Burn hut 8-10hrs hiking

A relatively long day today but mostly downhill. From the hut, the track makes its way through granite outcrops to Furket pass, then descending through tussock, sub-alpine scrub and eventually into lush rainforest in the Hauroko valley. Keep an ear out for the screeching of New Zealand’s native bush parrot the ‘Kaka”. Along the way, we pass the appropriately named “Halfway hut” before reaching our final destination, Lake Hauroko towards the end of the day. A comfortable hut sits overlooking the hut, at 462metres deep, Hauroko is the deepest lake in New Zealand, and also home to some very big eels that you may meet should you go for a swim! We celebrate the completion of the hike with yet another fine backcountry meal. (B,L,D) Lake Roe Hut

Day 7 Lake Hauroko – Te Anau - Queenstown

Lake Hauroko marks the end of our journey on foot. After a leisurely breakfast, we rendezvous with the boat (just a stone's throw from the hut) for the cruise across the lake. Surrounded by dense rainforest on all sides backed by jagged mountains, Hauroko is one of New Zealand's most beautiful and pristine lakes. An island on the lake is home to an entombed princess believed to have been put there in the 17th century. A local deer hunter discovered her body about 50 years ago. After disembarking from the boat we are transferred back to Te Anau and on to Queenstown where the tour ends. (B,L)

Day 8 Depart for next destination (B)

Inclusions

  • Five days guided trek with an experienced guide
  • All accommodation including nights before and after the expedition in Queenstown
  • All breakfast, lunches and dinners as per itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • Floatplane or helicopter to Dusky Sound
  • All transfers

Exclusions

  • Beverages
  • Personal souvenirs
  • Meals not outlined in the itinerary
  • International Flights

Maps

Extensions