Nelson/Tasman and West Coast regions

Walkers on the Heaphy Track.

Walkers on the Heaphy Track

Nelson/Tasman and West Coast regions map.

Pass through diverse landscapes from beautiful beech forest to expansive tussock grasslands, to lush forests, nikau palms and roaring seas.

The Heaphy Track is the longest of the 9 Great Walks at 78.4 km. It takes 4 - 6 days to walk. It is also possible to mountain bike the track between 1 May and 30 September. It takes 2 - 3 days to ride.

The track is well formed and well marked, and all rivers and major streams are bridged. It is suitable for trampers of moderate fitness and limited experience.

Located in the Kahurangi National Park at the north-west corner of the South Island, the nearest towns that cater for trampers and mountain bikers are Nelson, Takaka, Westport and Karamea.

View the Heaphy Track brochure (PDF, 2,766K).

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Great Walks season: All year

Alert/Important notice

 Pest control operation / Loose vegetation / Wave surges

Pest control operation DOC carried out an aerial 1080 operation in Kahurangi National Park on 14–15 October 2014 to control rats, possums and other predators as part of its Battle for our Birds programme.

The area included the eastern section of the Heaphy Track between Brown Hut to a point just west of James Mackay Hut.

The Heaphy Track was temporarily closed during the 1080 bait application until the track was inspected by DOC staff and as many baits and carcasses removed as possible. Further track inspections are scheduled but bait can continue to fall onto the track from overhead vegetation for many days after the operation.

Carcasses of poisoned rats, mice and possums many also be found on the track. Do not touch the baits or carcasses.

View more information or contact the DOC Takaka Office +64 3 525 8026.

Following the Easter 2014 storm, track users need to be aware of loose vegetation hung up in canopy branches and allow for minor debris on some sections of the track, particularly between Brown Hut and Perry Saddle and between MacKay Hut and Lewis Hut.

Wave Surges: Between Kohaihai and Heaphy Hut: Sections of the coastal track may be affected by large wave surges during high tides and rough seas and may cause the track to be temporarily impassable - there is no alternative track available. The sections affected are clearly signposted. 

Track users must make their own safety assessment and be prepared to wait for up to 2 hours until the tide retreats. When planning your trip, ensure you check tide charts and allow adequate time in case of delays.

Rubbish: There are no rubbish facilities on the track. Trampers are reminded there is a pack-in pack-out policy for all rubbish. All rubbish must be removed.

Great Walk/Easier tramping track Great Walk/Easier tramping track

Mountain biking - AdvancedAdvanced

Mountain biking - ExpertExpert

Time:  

4 - 6 days (walking); 2 - 3 days (mountain biking)

Distance:  

78.4 km
 
 

Find out more

Weather

Maps

Parkmaps are detailed maps for those visiting and using New Zealand's national parks and other conservation land. They are available from DOC visitor centres.

Learn more

Check, Clean, Dry between waterways and stop the spread of didymo.

Walking track categories

Safety

Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

Alerts for Nelson/Tasman places

Contacts