Greymouth backcountry routes

Track category

Route

Description

Elizabeth Hut Route and Trent Saddle

Time: 5 hr
Distance: 9 km

Drive north from Greymouth to Ngahere and turn right on to Nelson Creek Road. Follow this road for approx. 30 km then turn right on to Heaphy Road, just past Lake Haupiri.

This route is accessed through private land. Contact the landowners – Gloriavale Christian Community, phone +64 3 738 0224.

The route initially follows a 4WD farm track on the true left of the Haupiri River and then becomes unmarked riverbed travel. The marked route begins just below the Cone Creek-Haupiri River junction, leading to Elizabeth Hut. The remains of a natural hot-springs bath (often useable) are found just upstream of this junction, 40 metres off the marked route.

Further travel is possible via a marked route over the Trent Saddle to Top Trent (Lagoon) Hut. From Top Trent Hut there is unmarked riverbed travel down the Trent River to the Mid Trent Hut.

Amuri Pass Route

Time: 1 hr
Distance: 2.2 km

Drive north from Greymouth on SH7 to Ngahere. Turn right on to Nelson Creek Road, follow this road past Lake Haupiri and the Kopara Village, turn right on to Ahaura-Amuri Road until you reach Waikiti Downs farm.

Initial access to the upper Ahaura catchment is through Waikiti Downs farm. You no longer need permission from the landowners, just follow the road to a car park at the end.

After 6-8 hours unmarked riverbed travel, a short marked route starts on the true left side of the Waiheke River and climbs to the top of Amuri Pass, joining up with the Doubtful Valley Track in Lake Sumner Forest Park. Parts of this route are on a historic stock route used by Canterbury farmers selling sheep to hungry West Coast gold miners in the late 1860s.

Hope Pass Route

Time: 1 hr 
Distance: 1.4 km

Follow the same route described above to get from Greymouth to Waikiti Downs farm. Initial access to the upper Ahaura catchment is through Waikiti Downs farm.  You no longer need permission from the landowners, just follow the road to a car park at the end.

After 2-3 hours unmarked riverbed travel you reach the junction of the Trent and Tutaekuri Rivers. Turn left (south-east) and continue for 4-6 hours up the Tutaekuri River until the start of the route on the true left bank.  This steep, but short route crosses the Pass and joins up with the Hope River Track in Lake Sumner Forest Park.

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Crooked Route

Time: 6 hr to Jacko Flat Hut, 2 hr from Jacko Flat Hut to Top Crooked Hut
Distance: 7.8 km to Jacko Flat Hut, 5.4 km from Jacko Flat Hut to Top Crooked Hut

From Moana drive south (towards Christchurch) for approx. 14 km, turn left on to Bell Hill Road. Turn right after 1.8 km onto the public (unmaintained and rough) Rotomanu-Kopara Road. The last section of this road crosses private land and permission needs to be obtained from the owner – R.W. Burgess, phone +64 3 738 0177.

The route to Jacko Flat Hut follows the Crooked River and is very rough and steep in places, but passes spectacular gorges and rapids, intermingled with deep, blue pools of still water. From Jacko Flat to Top Crooked Hut the travel is easier, but the route up to the Morgan Tops, just downstream and opposite Top Crooked Hut, is very steep. Once onto the tops there are several options for experienced trampers. The more popular option is to travel on to Lake Morgan Hut and then exit via Mount O’Shanessy and the Brian O’Lyn Route down to the Haupiri River.

Camp Creek Route

Time: 3 hr to hut, 8-10 hr to summit
Distance: 3 km to hut

The route starts approx. 19 km south of Moana (towards Christchurch) on the Inchbonnie-Rotomanu Road, just north of Lake Poerua.

From the road end the route passes through thick rainforest until it reaches Camp Creek. It then continues up the creek bed before climbing steeply up a side creek and then a ridge, then levelling out and sidling around the hill, high above the creek. The route crosses the creek shortly before reaching Camp Creek Hut (up a short side-track) and then climbs very steeply onto the tops and a long ridge leading to the summit of Mount Alexander. Spectacular 360 degree views reward trampers after a long and steep climb.

Brian O’Lyn Route

Time: 3 hr
Distance: 2.3 km

Drive north from Greymouth to Ngahere and turn right onto Nelson Creek Road. Follow this road for approx. 30 km then turn right on to Heaphy Road, just past Lake Haupiri.

This route is accessed through private land. Contact the landowners – Gloriavale Christian Community, phone +64 3 738 0224.

Follow the 4WD track on the true left of the Haupiri River until upstream of the gorge, where the start of the route is marked by a sign.  The route is extremely steep for the first half and care needs to be taken. The route ends a few hundred metres past the bush-line, but is straightforward tops travel from this point. The usual option is over Mount O’Shanessy to Lake Morgan Hut and then either on to the Crooked River or a bush-bash to Cone Creek Hut.

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Waikiti Route

Time: 5-7 hr
Distance: 8.2 km

Drive north from Greymouth to Ngahere and turn right on to Nelson Creek Road. Follow this road for approx. 10 km past Lake Haupiri and turn right on to Haupiri-Amuri Road. The route starts on the far (true right) side of the Waikiti River Bridge.

The route initially climbs steeply before sidling around, high above the river and in and out of some steep gullies. The route then drops steeply and in one place a chain is provided to assist safe passage over a slippery rock face.  After crossing the river over a swing-bridge you continue up the true left side of the river before fording the river just below the hut.

Plan and prepare

Much of these routes run along ever-changing braided river beds and travel along them is at the discretion of tramping parties. These rivers rise quickly in wet weather and a good knowledge of river crossing is essential.

Two of these routes cross mountain passes.

Parties should be experienced and self-contained with cookers and a tent/tent fly in case of delays. Maps and a compass are essential.

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