Nelson / Marlborough

Nelson / Marlborough

Richmond Alpine Track - OPEN

Northern Start
Hacket Hut Junction
Southern End
Start of Black Valley Walk (on SH3), St Arnaud
Distance
94km
Time
5-7 days
Track Standard
Road margin   Footpath   Easy tramping track   Tramping track   Route   Mixed grade  
Potential Hazards
  • Vehicles on road or track on SH63 into St Arnaud - take care and walk as far off road as possible
  • River crossings - Never cross flooded rivers
  • Track exposed to sun, wind or cold
  • Weather extremes - be aware of weather forecast and wait out bad weather if necessary
  • Few water sources in parts
Description
(North to South)

The Richmond Alpine Track is rugged and, though well marked, is unformed in places. The summits are consistently above 1500m and the track has many steep, exposed sections and stream crossings. It's only suitable for fit, experienced, and well-equipped trampers but the landscapes are superb, amongst the very finest along Te Araroa.

The track is within the Mt Richmond Forest Park. Below the tree line, the forest contains a mixed variety of beech and podocarp forest. The summits and higher ridges often have rocky approaches. Towards its end the track traverses the flanks of the Red Hills. These hills, formed from mineral rich ultramafic rock, are barren and the vegetation that can survive upon them is sparse and stunted.
Anyone attempting the Pelorus River Track and Richmond Alpine Track together as a single section should prepare for at least a nine day tramp, the first 3 of which would be on the Pelorus River Track.
 
Note - that the DOC brochure available through the link on this page relates only to the northern portion of this Te Araroa section.
Hacket Junction to Hacket Hut – 1.3km, 15min (and a further 5.7km if starting from the Hacket Picnic Area).

For trampers continuing on from the Pelorus River Track, Hacket Hut is a 15min walk from the sign-posted junction at Hacket Creek.
For those starting afresh, access to Hacket Junction is 5.7km from the Hacket Picnic Area, about 12km from Hope up Aniseed Valley Rd. From the picnic area cross the Roding River foot bridge and continue on the formed track towards Browning Hut. There is a Te Araroa marked sign after 5.7km. This is at Hacket Junction. Take the 1.3km track from here towards Hacket Hut as indicated. Alternatively, trampers can remove 20min from this section by taking the first sign-posted track to Hacket Hut off the track up from the Hacket Picnic Area.
 
 
Hacket Hut to Starveall Hut - 6km / 4hr

The track continues up Hacket Creek with numerous crossings. The track then departs the river and embarks on a 900m climb, initially towards Pyramid Rock, and them on towards Starveall Hut (6 bunks). The hut is located just above the tree line.
 
 
Starveall Hut to Slaty Hut - 5km / 2.5hr

Water can be scarce between Starveall and Mid Wairoa Huts so carry at least enough to last through to the next hut and resupply point.
The track follows poles up towards Mt Starveall and summiting is an attractive possibility on fine days. The main track, however, descends into the forest and follows the ridgeline towards Slaty Peak. A sidle across the peak’s northern face brings you to Slaty Hut (6 bunks).
 
 
Slaty Hut to Old Man Hut - 10km / 5hr

This section is predominantly above the tree line and is marked with poles. Old Man Hut (5 bunks) is located in a clearing and is accessed via a marked side trail.
 
 
Old Man Hut to Rintoul Hut - 4.5km / 5hr

This section is rocky and exposed. It involves some scrambling and is the most difficult portion of the Richmond Alpine Track. Particular care needs to be taken here and trampers should be prepared to wait out adverse weather.
From the head of the Old Man Hut access track the main track climbs through bush and then above the bushline to the summit of Little Rintoul (1643m). It then descends very steeply on a loose surface for 250m following poles to a saddle before climbing steeply again to the summit of Mt Rintoul (1731m), the highest point on the Richmond Alpine Track. This track is very susceptible to erosion which can make for challenging walking so please take great care. Little Rintoul and Mt Rintoul should not be attempted in poor weather.
Beyond Mt Rintoul’s summit the poled route traverses the ridgeline before dropping steeply down scree slopes to the bushline. From here a marked track leads to Rintoul Hut (6 bunks). 
 
 
Rintoul Hut to Tarn Hut - 8km / 4.5hr

The track follows a bush clad ridge to Purple Top, the only significant open section on route. Follow poles up and over rocks here to return to the bush. There is a sign-posted junction beyond Bishop’s Cap. The left-hand track leads to Tarn Hut (5 bunks).
 
 
Tarn Hut to Mid Wairoa Hut - 6.5km / 4hr

The track continues along the ridge to a sign-posted junction before Bushy Top. Take the right hand track from here down towards the Left Branch Wairoa River and Mid Wairoa Hut. The final descent to the river is steep. The hut is reached across the river via a swing bridge.
 
 
Mid Wairoa Hut to Top Wairoa Hut - 7km / 4.5hr

The track from Mid Wairoa Hut follows the river. It involves a lot of sidling, at times on steep terrain, and eight river crossings. In some areas, erosion on the track presents slippery and/or narrow footholds and extreme care should be taken through here. Some trampers will find this section challenging. It should not be attempted during periods of heavy rain as the river can rise quickly.
 
 
Top Wairoa Hut to Hunters Hut - 10.5km / 5hr

Beyond the hut Te Araroa enters Red Hills country and a landscape transformed. The track follows markers and climbs away from the hut to a saddle at 1374m. 
Beyond the saddle the track veers northward and sidles, first on a high and exposed ridge and then westward below Mt Ellis towards another ridge. The marker poles on this section are distant but are still visible in clear weather from one to the next. Once over the ridge's shoulder the track descends and passes through a lightly forested section.
Below the forest the track veers southwest and down towards Motueka River Left Branch. Cross the river where marked and continue down the true right bank.
Ford the river again where marked and, from the true left side, the track climbs up towards Hunters Hut (8 bunks).
Hunters Hut opened in 1997 and is a memorial to DOC staff members Russell Griebel and Bob Waldie, both of whom died on duty when Bush Edge Hut was destroyed in a flash flood. Remnants of the old hut are still visible as you cross the river and then make the 15min climb up to the new hut site.
 
 
Hunters Hut to Porters Creek Hut - 9km / 4hr

The track undulates south and crosses a number of open boulder fields and streams on its way to Porters Creek Hut (6 bunks).
There is a water tank and woodshed at the hut.
 
 
Porters Creek Hut to Red Hills Hut - 10.5km / 5hr

The track curves around to the Motueka River Right Branch and, once there, sidles above the true right bank to a crossing near the Maitland Creek confluence. The Motueka river can rise, and fall, very quickly after heavy rain. Take care in crossing and be prepared to sit it out if required. The track then climbs and sidles above Maitland Creek's true right bank towards Red Hills Hut (6 bunks), which opened late in 2009 and replaced an older hut.
 
 
Red Hills Hut to SH63 – 7.5km / 4-5hr
 
* Note there is no water supply on this route between Red Hills Hut and SH63/St Arnaud
After Red Hills Hut, Te Araroa completes the Richmond experience on the Maitland Ridge Track - this was constructed as a MTB track by local volunteers and we are very grateful to share it with them. Take care on this route as it is used by mountain-bikers who may be moving at speed in some areas.
From Red Hills Hut an old 4WD track climbs steadily uphill to a rocky knoll at 1050m. Down the ridge to a broad saddle before (at times steep) climbing to a high point of 1200m, through lovely beech forest. Then a long downhill with some zigzags that keep the gradient smooth with open patches that offer occasional views bordering on spectacular. The saddle is at 1040m then another climb follows to the 1300m high point of the track where you have a great vantage point over the surrounding area. Finally, a steep descent (more zigzags) to the Tophouse Rd. 
From Tophouse Rd it is 750m to SH63 then an 8km (2hr) walk on the road shoulder to St Arnaud.
 

There are toilets and rubbish bins available just as you arrive in St Arnaud - across the road from the school, next to the Community Hall.

 

Note: Map is indicative only
Extra Info

St Arnaud

General Information 
DOC Visitor Centre - View Rd, St Arnaud - Open from 8am - P: 03 521 1806 - E: nelsonlakesvc@doc.govt.nz 

Getting there/away 
(From 16 January 2017) the InterCity bus will stop at St Arnaud, outside the Alpine Store - Northbound (to Blenheim/Picton) departs 2.41pm, Southbound (to Murchison/Hamner Springs/Christchurch) departs 9.30am - St Arnaud is an "on request" stop so needs to be pre-booked - www.intercity.co.nz
Nelson Lakes Shuttles - P: 03 547 6896 or 0275 476896 - Including connections with Naked Bus and Intercity Coachlines to Nelson
InterCity - P: 03 365 1113 
Atomic Shuttles - P: 03 349 0697 - E: info@atomictravel.co.nz   Coachlines to Nelsonand Picton most days.  
Private Driver Hire - P: 03 3910500 (Paul) - can transport to/from all locations Picton-Anakiwa-Pelorus Bridge-Nelson-St Arnaud, priced on enquiry.
 
Accommodation
Alpine Lodge St. Arnaud - Lake Rotoiti, Nelson Lakes National Park - E: info@alpinelodge.co.nz - P: 03 5211869 - W:  Includes: dorm and double private rooms plus hotel room accommodation also available. There is internet, laundry facilities, spa pool for hire, a restaurant/bar/café (with the famous Sunday BBQ $31pp). The Alpine Lodge can store store food parcels - $10 per parcel if not staying at the lodge or $5 for those who stay at the lodge - send those to Alpine Lodge, 75 Main Rd, St Arnaud, RD2 Nelson 7072. (Clearly mark the parcel with "<your name>, Te Araroa Walker").
 
Nelson Lakes Homestay - 5 Kehu Lane, SH63, St Arnaud - E: shona@nelsonlakeshomestay.co.nz - P: 03 5211191 or 021 2989407
Tent, caravan and B&B accommodation available $25-160 - incl light breakfast for all, full breakfast for B&B.
Towels, BBQ and vege garden available. Situated on SH63 on the way into St Arnaud (SOBO), 4km from the village.
 

 

Requirements
  • Keep to the track
  • No litter
  • No dogs
  • No horses
  • No firearms
  • No bikes
  • No taking plants
Environment
  • Take all rubbish with you
  • Use toilets provided at huts
  • Bury toilet waste well away from water
Amenities
(Start)
  • Car park at Hacket picnic area
  • Toilets at Hacket picnic area
  • Accommodation The Pear Orchard Lodge - (BBH) self catering lodge - max. 20 people - 569 Hill Street South, Hope - P: 03 544 5361 - E: stay@thepearorchard.co.nz - Rooms range from dorm to private rooms with ensuite - pickups from Hackett picnic area with prior arrangement
Amenities
(On Route)
  • No amenities
  • Accommodation Huts
Amenities
(End)
  • Full range of amenities (limited) in St Arnaud
  • Carpark
  • Toilets
  • Shop
  • Phone
  • Accommodation
Closest Town(s)
Nelson and St Arnard
Managed by
DOC
Contact
DOC
Northern Start
Hacket Hut Junction
Southern End
Start of Black Valley Walk (on SH3), St Arnaud
Distance
94km
Time
5-7 days
Track Standard
Road margin   Footpath   Easy tramping track   Tramping track   Route   Mixed grade  
Description
(North to South)

The Richmond Alpine Track is rugged and, though well marked, is unformed in places. The summits are consistently above 1500m and the track has many steep, exposed sections and stream crossings. It's only suitable for fit, experienced, and well-equipped trampers but the landscapes are superb, amongst the very finest along Te Araroa.

The track is within the Mt Richmond Forest Park. Below the tree line, the forest contains a mixed variety of beech and podocarp forest. The summits and higher ridges often have rocky approaches. Towards its end the track traverses the flanks of the Red Hills. These hills, formed from mineral rich ultramafic rock, are barren and the vegetation that can survive upon them is sparse and stunted.
Anyone attempting the Pelorus River Track and Richmond Alpine Track together as a single section should prepare for at least a nine day tramp, the first 3 of which would be on the Pelorus River Track.
 
Note - that the DOC brochure available through the link on this page relates only to the northern portion of this Te Araroa section.
Hacket Junction to Hacket Hut – 1.3km, 15min (and a further 5.7km if starting from the Hacket Picnic Area).

For trampers continuing on from the Pelorus River Track, Hacket Hut is a 15min walk from the sign-posted junction at Hacket Creek.
For those starting afresh, access to Hacket Junction is 5.7km from the Hacket Picnic Area, about 12km from Hope up Aniseed Valley Rd. From the picnic area cross the Roding River foot bridge and continue on the formed track towards Browning Hut. There is a Te Araroa marked sign after 5.7km. This is at Hacket Junction. Take the 1.3km track from here towards Hacket Hut as indicated. Alternatively, trampers can remove 20min from this section by taking the first sign-posted track to Hacket Hut off the track up from the Hacket Picnic Area.
 
 
Hacket Hut to Starveall Hut - 6km / 4hr

The track continues up Hacket Creek with numerous crossings. The track then departs the river and embarks on a 900m climb, initially towards Pyramid Rock, and them on towards Starveall Hut (6 bunks). The hut is located just above the tree line.
 
 
Starveall Hut to Slaty Hut - 5km / 2.5hr

Water can be scarce between Starveall and Mid Wairoa Huts so carry at least enough to last through to the next hut and resupply point.
The track follows poles up towards Mt Starveall and summiting is an attractive possibility on fine days. The main track, however, descends into the forest and follows the ridgeline towards Slaty Peak. A sidle across the peak’s northern face brings you to Slaty Hut (6 bunks).
 
 
Slaty Hut to Old Man Hut - 10km / 5hr

This section is predominantly above the tree line and is marked with poles. Old Man Hut (5 bunks) is located in a clearing and is accessed via a marked side trail.
 
 
Old Man Hut to Rintoul Hut - 4.5km / 5hr

This section is rocky and exposed. It involves some scrambling and is the most difficult portion of the Richmond Alpine Track. Particular care needs to be taken here and trampers should be prepared to wait out adverse weather.
From the head of the Old Man Hut access track the main track climbs through bush and then above the bushline to the summit of Little Rintoul (1643m). It then descends very steeply on a loose surface for 250m following poles to a saddle before climbing steeply again to the summit of Mt Rintoul (1731m), the highest point on the Richmond Alpine Track. This track is very susceptible to erosion which can make for challenging walking so please take great care. Little Rintoul and Mt Rintoul should not be attempted in poor weather.
Beyond Mt Rintoul’s summit the poled route traverses the ridgeline before dropping steeply down scree slopes to the bushline. From here a marked track leads to Rintoul Hut (6 bunks). 
 
 
Rintoul Hut to Tarn Hut - 8km / 4.5hr

The track follows a bush clad ridge to Purple Top, the only significant open section on route. Follow poles up and over rocks here to return to the bush. There is a sign-posted junction beyond Bishop’s Cap. The left-hand track leads to Tarn Hut (5 bunks).
 
 
Tarn Hut to Mid Wairoa Hut - 6.5km / 4hr

The track continues along the ridge to a sign-posted junction before Bushy Top. Take the right hand track from here down towards the Left Branch Wairoa River and Mid Wairoa Hut. The final descent to the river is steep. The hut is reached across the river via a swing bridge.
 
 
Mid Wairoa Hut to Top Wairoa Hut - 7km / 4.5hr

The track from Mid Wairoa Hut follows the river. It involves a lot of sidling, at times on steep terrain, and eight river crossings. In some areas, erosion on the track presents slippery and/or narrow footholds and extreme care should be taken through here. Some trampers will find this section challenging. It should not be attempted during periods of heavy rain as the river can rise quickly.
 
 
Top Wairoa Hut to Hunters Hut - 10.5km / 5hr

Beyond the hut Te Araroa enters Red Hills country and a landscape transformed. The track follows markers and climbs away from the hut to a saddle at 1374m. 
Beyond the saddle the track veers northward and sidles, first on a high and exposed ridge and then westward below Mt Ellis towards another ridge. The marker poles on this section are distant but are still visible in clear weather from one to the next. Once over the ridge's shoulder the track descends and passes through a lightly forested section.
Below the forest the track veers southwest and down towards Motueka River Left Branch. Cross the river where marked and continue down the true right bank.
Ford the river again where marked and, from the true left side, the track climbs up towards Hunters Hut (8 bunks).
Hunters Hut opened in 1997 and is a memorial to DOC staff members Russell Griebel and Bob Waldie, both of whom died on duty when Bush Edge Hut was destroyed in a flash flood. Remnants of the old hut are still visible as you cross the river and then make the 15min climb up to the new hut site.
 
 
Hunters Hut to Porters Creek Hut - 9km / 4hr

The track undulates south and crosses a number of open boulder fields and streams on its way to Porters Creek Hut (6 bunks).
There is a water tank and woodshed at the hut.
 
 
Porters Creek Hut to Red Hills Hut - 10.5km / 5hr

The track curves around to the Motueka River Right Branch and, once there, sidles above the true right bank to a crossing near the Maitland Creek confluence. The Motueka river can rise, and fall, very quickly after heavy rain. Take care in crossing and be prepared to sit it out if required. The track then climbs and sidles above Maitland Creek's true right bank towards Red Hills Hut (6 bunks), which opened late in 2009 and replaced an older hut.
 
 
Red Hills Hut to SH63 – 7.5km / 4-5hr
 
* Note there is no water supply on this route between Red Hills Hut and SH63/St Arnaud
After Red Hills Hut, Te Araroa completes the Richmond experience on the Maitland Ridge Track - this was constructed as a MTB track by local volunteers and we are very grateful to share it with them. Take care on this route as it is used by mountain-bikers who may be moving at speed in some areas.
From Red Hills Hut an old 4WD track climbs steadily uphill to a rocky knoll at 1050m. Down the ridge to a broad saddle before (at times steep) climbing to a high point of 1200m, through lovely beech forest. Then a long downhill with some zigzags that keep the gradient smooth with open patches that offer occasional views bordering on spectacular. The saddle is at 1040m then another climb follows to the 1300m high point of the track where you have a great vantage point over the surrounding area. Finally, a steep descent (more zigzags) to the Tophouse Rd. 
From Tophouse Rd it is 750m to SH63 then an 8km (2hr) walk on the road shoulder to St Arnaud.
 

There are toilets and rubbish bins available just as you arrive in St Arnaud - across the road from the school, next to the Community Hall.

 

Potential Hazards
  • Vehicles on road or track on SH63 into St Arnaud - take care and walk as far off road as possible
  • River crossings - Never cross flooded rivers
  • Track exposed to sun, wind or cold
  • Weather extremes - be aware of weather forecast and wait out bad weather if necessary
  • Few water sources in parts
Description
(North to South)

The Richmond Alpine Track is rugged and, though well marked, is unformed in places. The summits are consistently above 1500m and the track has many steep, exposed sections and stream crossings. It's only suitable for fit, experienced, and well-equipped trampers but the landscapes are superb, amongst the very finest along Te Araroa.

The track is within the Mt Richmond Forest Park. Below the tree line, the forest contains a mixed variety of beech and podocarp forest. The summits and higher ridges often have rocky approaches. Towards its end the track traverses the flanks of the Red Hills. These hills, formed from mineral rich ultramafic rock, are barren and the vegetation that can survive upon them is sparse and stunted.
Anyone attempting the Pelorus River Track and Richmond Alpine Track together as a single section should prepare for at least a nine day tramp, the first 3 of which would be on the Pelorus River Track.
 
Note - that the DOC brochure available through the link on this page relates only to the northern portion of this Te Araroa section.
Hacket Junction to Hacket Hut – 1.3km, 15min (and a further 5.7km if starting from the Hacket Picnic Area).

For trampers continuing on from the Pelorus River Track, Hacket Hut is a 15min walk from the sign-posted junction at Hacket Creek.
For those starting afresh, access to Hacket Junction is 5.7km from the Hacket Picnic Area, about 12km from Hope up Aniseed Valley Rd. From the picnic area cross the Roding River foot bridge and continue on the formed track towards Browning Hut. There is a Te Araroa marked sign after 5.7km. This is at Hacket Junction. Take the 1.3km track from here towards Hacket Hut as indicated. Alternatively, trampers can remove 20min from this section by taking the first sign-posted track to Hacket Hut off the track up from the Hacket Picnic Area.
 
 
Hacket Hut to Starveall Hut - 6km / 4hr

The track continues up Hacket Creek with numerous crossings. The track then departs the river and embarks on a 900m climb, initially towards Pyramid Rock, and them on towards Starveall Hut (6 bunks). The hut is located just above the tree line.
 
 
Starveall Hut to Slaty Hut - 5km / 2.5hr

Water can be scarce between Starveall and Mid Wairoa Huts so carry at least enough to last through to the next hut and resupply point.
The track follows poles up towards Mt Starveall and summiting is an attractive possibility on fine days. The main track, however, descends into the forest and follows the ridgeline towards Slaty Peak. A sidle across the peak’s northern face brings you to Slaty Hut (6 bunks).
 
 
Slaty Hut to Old Man Hut - 10km / 5hr

This section is predominantly above the tree line and is marked with poles. Old Man Hut (5 bunks) is located in a clearing and is accessed via a marked side trail.
 
 
Old Man Hut to Rintoul Hut - 4.5km / 5hr

This section is rocky and exposed. It involves some scrambling and is the most difficult portion of the Richmond Alpine Track. Particular care needs to be taken here and trampers should be prepared to wait out adverse weather.
From the head of the Old Man Hut access track the main track climbs through bush and then above the bushline to the summit of Little Rintoul (1643m). It then descends very steeply on a loose surface for 250m following poles to a saddle before climbing steeply again to the summit of Mt Rintoul (1731m), the highest point on the Richmond Alpine Track. This track is very susceptible to erosion which can make for challenging walking so please take great care. Little Rintoul and Mt Rintoul should not be attempted in poor weather.
Beyond Mt Rintoul’s summit the poled route traverses the ridgeline before dropping steeply down scree slopes to the bushline. From here a marked track leads to Rintoul Hut (6 bunks). 
 
 
Rintoul Hut to Tarn Hut - 8km / 4.5hr

The track follows a bush clad ridge to Purple Top, the only significant open section on route. Follow poles up and over rocks here to return to the bush. There is a sign-posted junction beyond Bishop’s Cap. The left-hand track leads to Tarn Hut (5 bunks).
 
 
Tarn Hut to Mid Wairoa Hut - 6.5km / 4hr

The track continues along the ridge to a sign-posted junction before Bushy Top. Take the right hand track from here down towards the Left Branch Wairoa River and Mid Wairoa Hut. The final descent to the river is steep. The hut is reached across the river via a swing bridge.
 
 
Mid Wairoa Hut to Top Wairoa Hut - 7km / 4.5hr

The track from Mid Wairoa Hut follows the river. It involves a lot of sidling, at times on steep terrain, and eight river crossings. In some areas, erosion on the track presents slippery and/or narrow footholds and extreme care should be taken through here. Some trampers will find this section challenging. It should not be attempted during periods of heavy rain as the river can rise quickly.
 
 
Top Wairoa Hut to Hunters Hut - 10.5km / 5hr

Beyond the hut Te Araroa enters Red Hills country and a landscape transformed. The track follows markers and climbs away from the hut to a saddle at 1374m. 
Beyond the saddle the track veers northward and sidles, first on a high and exposed ridge and then westward below Mt Ellis towards another ridge. The marker poles on this section are distant but are still visible in clear weather from one to the next. Once over the ridge's shoulder the track descends and passes through a lightly forested section.
Below the forest the track veers southwest and down towards Motueka River Left Branch. Cross the river where marked and continue down the true right bank.
Ford the river again where marked and, from the true left side, the track climbs up towards Hunters Hut (8 bunks).
Hunters Hut opened in 1997 and is a memorial to DOC staff members Russell Griebel and Bob Waldie, both of whom died on duty when Bush Edge Hut was destroyed in a flash flood. Remnants of the old hut are still visible as you cross the river and then make the 15min climb up to the new hut site.
 
 
Hunters Hut to Porters Creek Hut - 9km / 4hr

The track undulates south and crosses a number of open boulder fields and streams on its way to Porters Creek Hut (6 bunks).
There is a water tank and woodshed at the hut.
 
 
Porters Creek Hut to Red Hills Hut - 10.5km / 5hr

The track curves around to the Motueka River Right Branch and, once there, sidles above the true right bank to a crossing near the Maitland Creek confluence. The Motueka river can rise, and fall, very quickly after heavy rain. Take care in crossing and be prepared to sit it out if required. The track then climbs and sidles above Maitland Creek's true right bank towards Red Hills Hut (6 bunks), which opened late in 2009 and replaced an older hut.
 
 
Red Hills Hut to SH63 – 7.5km / 4-5hr
 
* Note there is no water supply on this route between Red Hills Hut and SH63/St Arnaud
After Red Hills Hut, Te Araroa completes the Richmond experience on the Maitland Ridge Track - this was constructed as a MTB track by local volunteers and we are very grateful to share it with them. Take care on this route as it is used by mountain-bikers who may be moving at speed in some areas.
From Red Hills Hut an old 4WD track climbs steadily uphill to a rocky knoll at 1050m. Down the ridge to a broad saddle before (at times steep) climbing to a high point of 1200m, through lovely beech forest. Then a long downhill with some zigzags that keep the gradient smooth with open patches that offer occasional views bordering on spectacular. The saddle is at 1040m then another climb follows to the 1300m high point of the track where you have a great vantage point over the surrounding area. Finally, a steep descent (more zigzags) to the Tophouse Rd. 
From Tophouse Rd it is 750m to SH63 then an 8km (2hr) walk on the road shoulder to St Arnaud.
 

There are toilets and rubbish bins available just as you arrive in St Arnaud - across the road from the school, next to the Community Hall.

 

Note: Map is indicative only
Extra Info

St Arnaud

General Information 
DOC Visitor Centre - View Rd, St Arnaud - Open from 8am - P: 03 521 1806 - E: nelsonlakesvc@doc.govt.nz 

Getting there/away 
(From 16 January 2017) the InterCity bus will stop at St Arnaud, outside the Alpine Store - Northbound (to Blenheim/Picton) departs 2.41pm, Southbound (to Murchison/Hamner Springs/Christchurch) departs 9.30am - St Arnaud is an "on request" stop so needs to be pre-booked - www.intercity.co.nz
Nelson Lakes Shuttles - P: 03 547 6896 or 0275 476896 - Including connections with Naked Bus and Intercity Coachlines to Nelson
InterCity - P: 03 365 1113 
Atomic Shuttles - P: 03 349 0697 - E: info@atomictravel.co.nz   Coachlines to Nelsonand Picton most days.  
Private Driver Hire - P: 03 3910500 (Paul) - can transport to/from all locations Picton-Anakiwa-Pelorus Bridge-Nelson-St Arnaud, priced on enquiry.
 
Accommodation
Alpine Lodge St. Arnaud - Lake Rotoiti, Nelson Lakes National Park - E: info@alpinelodge.co.nz - P: 03 5211869 - W:  Includes: dorm and double private rooms plus hotel room accommodation also available. There is internet, laundry facilities, spa pool for hire, a restaurant/bar/café (with the famous Sunday BBQ $31pp). The Alpine Lodge can store store food parcels - $10 per parcel if not staying at the lodge or $5 for those who stay at the lodge - send those to Alpine Lodge, 75 Main Rd, St Arnaud, RD2 Nelson 7072. (Clearly mark the parcel with "<your name>, Te Araroa Walker").
 
Nelson Lakes Homestay - 5 Kehu Lane, SH63, St Arnaud - E: shona@nelsonlakeshomestay.co.nz - P: 03 5211191 or 021 2989407
Tent, caravan and B&B accommodation available $25-160 - incl light breakfast for all, full breakfast for B&B.
Towels, BBQ and vege garden available. Situated on SH63 on the way into St Arnaud (SOBO), 4km from the village.
 

 

Requirements
  • Keep to the track
  • No litter
  • No dogs
  • No horses
  • No firearms
  • No bikes
  • No taking plants
Environment
  • Take all rubbish with you
  • Use toilets provided at huts
  • Bury toilet waste well away from water
Amenities
(Start)
  • Car park at Hacket picnic area
  • Toilets at Hacket picnic area
  • Accommodation The Pear Orchard Lodge - (BBH) self catering lodge - max. 20 people - 569 Hill Street South, Hope - P: 03 544 5361 - E: stay@thepearorchard.co.nz - Rooms range from dorm to private rooms with ensuite - pickups from Hackett picnic area with prior arrangement
Amenities
(On Route)
  • No amenities
  • Accommodation Huts
Amenities
(End)
  • Full range of amenities (limited) in St Arnaud
  • Carpark
  • Toilets
  • Shop
  • Phone
  • Accommodation
Closest Town(s)
Nelson and St Arnard
Managed by
DOC
Contact
DOC