New Zealand

Rakiura Track Great Walk

Quick Info

  • 3 day circuit tramp
  • two huts
  • shore side tramping combined with a tramp through podocarp forest and sub alpine scrub
  • views of many of the inlets dotted around Stewart Island

Huts and Times

StartDistance (kms)Time (hrs)EndBunksHut amenities
Halfmoon Bay (Oban) 12 4 to 5 Port William Hut 20 Heating
Port William Hut 12 6 North Arm Hut 24 Heating
North Arm Hut 12 4 to 5 Halfmoon Bay    

Walk Description

The Rakiura Track is a lovely three day tramp through the rugged scenery of Stewart Island. It starts and ends in the small settlement of Halfmoon Bay (Oban) on the east coast of the island.

The first section of the track follows a sealed road from Halfmoon Bay to Lee Bay where a chain link sculpture marks the official entrance to the Rakiura National Park. The track follows the coastline to Maori Beach which used to have two sawmills and a school. There is a campsite here.

At the end of Maori Beach the track climbs to meet the intersection with the track to North Arm. Port William Hut is a further 1.5 kilometre past the intersection at the end of Magnetic Beach.

To reach North Arm Hut, back track to the intersection and follow the track westward along a ridge which provides fine views of Paterson Inlet to the south. Along the way the track passes through virgin podocarp forest and sub alpine scrub. Finally the track drops down to the North Arm inlet, the site of the 24 bunk hut.

On the final day of the tramp, the track passes through rimu and kamihi forests as it works its way around the small bays of Paterson Inlet. In the area was once a busy logging industry with over a hundred people employed at sawmills at Kaipipi Bay. The final section of the track follows the old Kaipipi Road back to Halfmoon Bay.

More information about the Rakiura National Park.

How to get there

Stewart Island can be reached via ferry or airplane. The ferry takes one hour from Bluff on the mainland to Halfmoon Bay, whilst the flight from Invercargill lasts 20 minutes.

There is a large range of accommodation on Stewart Island from backpackers through to hotels.

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