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“Nice track but...”
Review of Hump Ridge Track

Hump Ridge Track
Ranked #1 of 6 things to do in Tuatapere
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track is a 3 day loop walk that takes trampers along the south coast of New Zealand, up to the sub-alpine zone of the Hump Ridge, and over historic viaducts in the heart of native forest. Our two backcountry lodges are in superb locations, each offering a unique stopping point along the walk. We are the only walking track in Fiordland that offers upgrade facilities to independent trampers. Why not enjoy a hot shower and super king-sized bed on your tramp? You can also have your bag, or yourself, flown by helicopter. Each of our lodges has disabled facilities and wheelchair access from the helipad, ensuring that everyone can enjoy our wilderness. Walking packages from $175. Bookings are essential - contact us for more information or to make a booking.
Reviewed 9 April 2014

We did the Hump Ridge Track few days ago. It was a nice track, the forest, especially on the first day is wonderful, giving you the impression to be in a other world! The lodges are good, we were glad to find a wood-burner to warm up and the hosts were really nice and attentive.

But some negatives points must be mentionned. First the lack of time indications along the track can gives you the impression of a never-endind walk: you don't really know where you are or how many time you have to walk to reach a point. The time of walk for each days is a bit long so a time indication could be really useful. Besides we deplore the lack of shelters and toilets along the way. The shelter on the second day is badly located (you reach it after 2 hours of walk and have to walk 5hours without a place to stop or go to the toilets). It's worse on the third day as you have no shelters or toilets at all. You could hope better because of the price!
Some parts of the track could be better maintained: fallen trees and big wholes of mud (if the second day is rainy, be prepared to be completely full of mud!).

Even so, it's a good track, we really enjoyed the forest (unfortunatly we missed the views because of the clouds), the lodges (and the porridge!) and the hosts. It's good way to spend 3 days, in couple or with friends. A advice though: go there with a good weather so you could enjoy the views and save yourself from the mud!

4  Thank Johanna G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Humpridge T, Manager at Hump Ridge Track, responded to this reviewResponded 6 October 2014

Thanks a lot for the feed back. We have designed a map to hand out this year with distances and the Charitable Trust who does the track maintenance is planning to implement some signage on the track with distances on them. We hope this takes place in the next couple of weeks and the new maps arrived last week so things are looking good.

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Reviews (127)
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98 - 102 of 127 reviews

Reviewed 2 April 2014

As others have said, the Hump Ridge is definitely a keen "hikers track” but I found the trail up to Okaka (7-9 hours) is no steeper than the Caples and the day not much longer than the big day over the pass on the Milford Track. The lodges at Okaka and Port Craig more than make up for the extended hours hiking. Real beds, cosy bedding, showers, comfortable lounges and wonderful porridge with lashings of brown sugar to get you going in the morning. I was lucky in having perfect weather in late March from the beginning to the end of the track. I really wanted to spend more time up at Okaka and was glad I arrived early-mid afternoon and so got to explore the rocky tors above the lodge. I woke in the morning to a magnificent sunrise high over the valley cloud. Having done a lot of hiking in the South Island I would summarise the Hump Ridge as less crowded than the more famous Routeburn and Milford tracks and a spectacularly varied hike, with some of the best views in Fiordland from the Okaka ridge combined with majestic rimu forests on the slopes, beautiful beaches and coastline (a good chance of seeing Hectors Dolphins) and a fascinating history at Port Craig. I strongly suggest booking the private rooms at the lodges as these are amazing at the end of a hard days slog. Whether you are doing the Humpridge Track on your own or guided you can get away with a pretty light pack. All cooking supplies are available at the lodge, dinners can also be booked, as can bedding. The showers have soap and towels. The track has quite a personal feel, with lodge hosts to welcome you at the end of each day, advise you about the area and the trail ahead. Highly recommended.

4  Thank RiverrunWanaka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2014

A stunning three day tramp up through beautiful bush on a little track out of The Hobbit.
Highly recommended! You will experience bush, birds, alpine tussock, coast line and lots of
amazing scenery. It should be on everyone's bucket list.

2  Thank Steads
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2014

We really enjoyed the overall walk, the on trek lodges and lodge staff were excellent. The end of day one was really tough, rising almost 1000 metres in a few kilometers after a long day walking. It really stretched our fitness and will power to keep going. Just make sure you get fit before doing it! Day 2 was a fantastic ridge walk and for us the highlight, although it does end with a few km of heads down marching on an old largely sunken tramway. Day three returning largely along beaches also really interesting.

We booked their Prime package but question with hindsight that it was value for money. The first night accommodation at Last Lights (see separate review) was really poor and nothing on Prime could not be bought on the day for far less.

We also paid for a double room at the lodges and are really glad that we did so for that extra comfort, privacy and space.

Finally we debated long and hard about the wisdom of leaving our car with our belongings at Rarakau. In the end we did. Can report that the unsealed road at the end is fine and that parking was perfectly safe

4  Thank StaresDevon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2014

We were two couples & did a tailor made package with heli-lift on day one upto Okaka Lodge at 900m+, then we walked out, carrying our own packs. At our time of life (60-75 yrs range) we reckoned a bit of comfort was due, so we opted for the double rooms with hot showers! The package was reasonably priced at $950/couple.
A note on the HT office door told us we were to attend an 0730 briefing which meant an 0645 breakkie at the Waiau Hotel. Michelle was charming, but the briefing was a bit of a non event as there wasn't much to be briefed on, then had to hang about til 0900 for our heli-lift, but found a good coffee shop in Tuatapare.
You can't help but be impressed with the set up - whilst part of the track existed for 50 years before, the local community (volunteers) built this track as it is today in about 9 months back in 2000/2001. What they achieved is simply staggering to comprehend, and makes for a wonderfully scenic walking experience nowadays. See the history of the track at http://www.newzealand.com/travel/media/features/walkinghiking/walking_pioneering-spirit-hump-ridge-track.cfm

Okaka Lodge - really comfortable and warmed by a gas fire. Spectacular views from the circuit loop track. Didn't use our shower tokens as too cold to go to the shower block!

Port Craig Lodge - a quirkier lodge as has historic features nearby, and is waterfront. Rooms fine, but common area not as cosy as Okaka as the gas fire didn't seem to throw much heat out. We got soaked (hail/rain and sweat!) coming down the hill plus had to walk through flooded parts of the track along the tram lines, so were pretty miserable when we got to Port Craig to find there was no drying room! (suggest the trst think about installing one) plus you're not supposed to take wet gear into the lounge area to dry by the gas fire. The rules also say the gas fire is not put on in the morning in an apparent effort to get you out and on your way as soon as possible.
Both lodges very well stocked with snacks, dehyds, beer and wine. One thing we found irritating was that whilst bottles, tins etc could be placed in recycle bins, and food scraps could be left in the pig bin, we had to carry out any food wrappers. Can't see the logic in that.
Website said to take cash, but credit cards accepted.

One of the rules of tramping is to know one's limitations and when researching we knew we were in for two long 20km days hike off the hill, which would be testing. They were 21 km days and certainly tested us all - so much in fact that we strongly suggest the trust think about a future 3rd lodge to shorten the days a bit.
The hike down from Okaka would be spectacular in fine weather but we started out in an inch of snow and minus 2! Lucky we did the circuit loop track in fine weather on arrival. We had occasional glimpses of the bay on the way down. The mosses, ferns and mixed forestation was wonderful. The viaducts (Percy Burn under repair) and the extensive tram track were testament to the pioneer spirit of the 1920's. This day took us almost 9 hours
The last days hike out to the Rarakau car park was easier going and we took about 6.5 hours for the 21kms. The beach walk sections were beautiful, although we had high tide, but at low tide it would be even better.
So in conclusion we felt it was our most challenging NZ tramp ever (we found the days harder than Milford) as the 21km days were a bit long for us and we know in future we'll aim at walks with about 15kms a day max.

2  Thank Colin S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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