The Hump Ridge Track takes hikers along in a loop along the coast of Southland and the eastern part of Fiordland in the South Island. With fantastic views over the Southland beaches, Stuart Island and the inland mountains and forests
It is a loop track, close to Tuatapere. It is about 60km (38miles) long and takes 3 days to complete.
There are 2 luxuries lodges along the way. They are run by a partnership of a private trust and DOC (Department of Conservation). They have real beds, hot showers, gas cookers, cooking utensils, a bar and a shop. Bookings are essential and can be done via Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track office.
The start of the track is at the Rarakau carpark. It is about a 2 hour drive from Queenstown and one hour from Invergargill (You can also arrange transport to and from Tuatapere)
The first leg takes you to Okaka Lodge, which is about 19km (12miles) and takes between 7-9 hours. From this lodge you have spectacular views over the Southern Ocean. It sits on the very top of the Hump Ridge.
The second leg is from Okaka Lodge to Port Craig Lodge. This is also about 19km (12miles) and takes between 7-9 hours. Rarakau carpark and is about 17km (11 miles) and takes about 5 to 7 hours to complete. With any luck you might get to see some Hector Dolphins. These dolphins are some of the smallest in the world and only found in New Zealand waters.
On the last day the track takes you back to the Rarakau carpark and is about 17km (11 miles) long and takes about 5 to 7 hours to complete.
Overall the hike is not for the faint hearted, the track is rugged and steep in some places. You need to be reasonably fit to be able to get through the long days of hiking.