New Zealand’s Eleventh Great Walk
Tucked away in the southern reaches of the Te Wahipounamu UNESCO World Heritage Area, the Hump Ridge Track lay as a final frontier of hiking in the Fiordland National Park until 2019 when it was announced that the three-day hike would become New Zealand’s eleventh Great Walk. Now, hiking among the magnificent limestone outcrops, viaducts taken over by Fiordland forest and rugged coastal scenery just got a little more appealing. Earning itself the name as a New Zealand Great Walk makes the Hump Ridge Track a prime multi-day hiking adventure with premium trails, transport and hut facilities. Find out more about the journey and the logistics of hiking the Great Walk in this complete guide to the Hump Ridge Track Great Walk.
What to Take on the Hump Ridge Track
Equipment to Take on the Hump Ridge Track
- 40-60L backpack (see How to Choose a Good Backpack)
- Sleeping bag (3-4 season)
- First aid kit (see Health Tips For Travelling in New Zealand for what to include)
- Survival kit (survival blanket, whistle, paper, pencil and high-energy snack food)
- 1-2L drink bottle
- Matches or lighter in a waterproof container
- Toiletries (don’t use soap in lakes and streams)
- Rubbish bag (you must take all rubbish out with you)
- Tickets and ID (for use of the huts and transportation)
- Earplugs (for hut bunk rooms)
Clothing to Take on the Hump Ridge Track
- Hiking boots (check out How to Choose a Good Pair of Hiking Boots)
- Wool or polypropylene socks
- Hiking pants/shorts (quick-dry material)
- Wool or polypropylene under-layers for top and bottom
- Mid-layers (wool or polar-fleece)
- Waterproof and windproof raincoat
- Waterproof and windproof overtrousers
- Hat and gloves (in colder months)
- Sunhat and sunglasses
Food to Take on the Hump Ridge Track
- High-energy snacks (muesli bars, biscuits, nuts, etc.)
- Breakfast meals (firm bread, honey, etc.)
- Lunch meals (fruit, sandwiches prepared before the trip)
- Dinner meals (pasta, rice, dried vegetables, fruit, cheese, freeze-dried meals) and utensils to eat it with like a knife, fork, container, cleaning kit, (and your own gas burner in winter when fuel is not provided).
For a more in-depth guide, take a look at How to Prepare for a Great Walk in New Zealand.
A Quick Track Description of the Hump Ridge Track Great Walk
The Hump Ridge Track is a well-formed trail with signage to follow along the way, making it difficult to lose your way. While there may be small streams to cross, waterways have a bridge to cross to get over safely. The three-day walk has some steep sections and a few parts with more rugged terrain so a reasonable good fitness is required to do this walk comfortably.
As for the views, hikers can expect glorious sub-alpine landscapes scattered with limestone tors, combined with a mix of ancient forest and coastal scenery. History is woven into the landscape too through the form of viaducts long forgotten in the Fiordland forest.
Hump Ridge Track Great Walk Overview
Time: 3 Days
Day 1: Rarakau Car Park to Okaka Lodge (21km, 7-9 hours)
Day 2: Okaka Lodge to Port Craig Lodge (21km, 7-9 hours)
Day 3: Port Craig Lodge to Rarakau Car Park (20km, 5-7 hours)
For a day-to-day description of the track, check out The Complete Guide to the Hump Ridge Track.
Transportation to the Hump Ridge Track Great Walk
The Hump Ridge Track is located in southern Fiordland National Park on the South Island. The closest town to the track is Tuatapere, which makes a good base at the beginning and end of the trail. See 7 Amazing Things to Do in Tuatapere for more ways to spend your time there.
Driving to the Hump Ridge Track
The Hump Ridge Track is an easy trail to get to for both those with and without their own transport. If you have your own vehicle, it’s possible to park in the Rarakau Car Park where the trail begins and ends. The Rarakau Car Park is 21.5km from Tuatapere and takes around 30 minutes to drive there. Note that part of the road is unsealed leading up to the car park.
Shuttles to Tuatapere and the Hump Ridge Track
Alternatively, shuttle services provide a convenient way to get between Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track office and the Hump Ridge Track. Shuttles depart daily in summer and run on a schedule in the shoulder seasons. The shuttle must be booked in advance and can be booked when buying your lodge passes.
Shuttles are also available from Queenstown, Te Anau and Invercargill to Tuatapere and can be booked through the Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track office.
Where to Stay on the Hump Ridge Track Great Walk
There are two lodges on the Hump Ridge Track, which are the only accommodation to stay in during the three-day/two-night walk.
Most hikers walk the track anticlockwise. In this case, the first hut to stay in is the Okaka Lodge and the second is the Port Craig Lodge.
- Bunk rooms pillow and pillowcase provided
- Private double rooms
- Gas-heated lounge and dining area
- Hot showers (fee applies)
- Flush toilets
- Kitchen with cooking gas, crockery, cutlery, pans and utensils
- Hot porridge and brown sugar for breakfast
- Lodge manager
- Lodge bar and shop
Lodges Do Not Include
- Power sockets
How to Get a Lodge Pass for the Hump Ridge Track
Before departing for the walk, call into the Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track office to pick you your lodge pass, sign onto the track and receive a briefing. The office is located on 31 Orawia Road, Tuatapere, and is open 7.30am-5.30pm. Your lodge passes are bought as packages starting with the Freedom Walk package, which gets you into a bunk room. Upgrades are available for private double rooms, amongst other perks. After the walk, you must visit the office to return your lodge pass and sign out from the track.