Experiences

Dusky Track Transport

Big country on the Dusky Track makes for a good kiwi tramp, Fiordland

A remote Fiordland hiking experience

Return transport connection package to the Dusky Track from Te Anau or Manapouri.

This 84 km tramp is one of New Zealand's more challenging and remote tramps, for experienced groups only. Trips & Tramps offers the complete Dusky Track Transport Package to access this track, working in conjunction with Lake Hauroko Tours and West Arm boats to co-ordinate the transport logistics - so you can just focus on surviving the track!

 

  • 8-10 days
  • Advanced Tramp
  • 84 km
  • Transport per person NZ$339

Transport Information

Access to the track at the south end of the Dusky at Lake Hauroko Burn is available on Thursdays from November to April. Additional scheduled departures are available in peak season between 18 December to 8 January. So you are best to start here and walk south to north, ending at West Arm, Manapouri.

We collect at 6:50 am from your Te Anau accommodation, or if you have access to a car we recommend you leave it at the View Street car park in Manapouri (where you get off the track), and we would collect you from here at 7:10 am. From here we transport you overland to Clifden corner to connect with Lake Hauroko Tours. They then transport you across the lake to the start of the track, arriving around 10.00 am.

Lake Hauroko boat, Fiordland National Park

West Arm out

To get off the track at West Arm there are boat departures everyday across Lake Manapouri with Real NZ.  They do not take bookings (so they do not have to worry about missing, delayed or otherwise trampers), you just turn up and catch the next available boat. The scheduled boats are currently at 11.00 am, and 4.15 pm. We issue an open dated ticket for this portion of travel. If you need to travel back to Te Anau we will collect you from Pearl Harbour, Manapouri. Note you will need to contact us to let us know when you are here, so there may be a delay in collecting you if you don't contact us from West Arm. 

Owner Steve Norris has years of experience guiding in Fiordland, he's got more stories to tell than you've got time to hear!

Great service, will highly recommend.

Thanks I had great service from you, will highly recommend. 

Regarding challenges, I would say please warn people strongly if they are setting out with a bad weather forecast - it was hard enough with good weather!
All 3 wire bridges are intact. 
Paul Beesley

Excellent organisation

We found your service and staff very good and organisation excellent. The walk was made more enjoyable from having such good weather two wet days out of nine. Turning 79 in July this year I found the track manageable but moved slower than quoted hourly rates. Would recommend the trip to others.

Rick Taylor, NZ

Value Plus

Thank you for the Dusky package. 
Very much Value plus especially the boat trip up lake Hauroko with Johan. A real character.
Thanks again for you patience as our trip numbers went from 7 to 2 resulting in major rearranging and I have no hesitation in referring your company for anyone doing the Dusky. 
Cheers
JB Sturgess, NZ
  • Te Anau DOC
  • Manapouri
  • Clifden Corner
  • Hauroko Burn Hut
  • Loch Maree Hut
  • Supper Cove Hut
  • West Arm Hut
  • Lake Manapouri
  • Lake Hauroko

Schedule

Scheduled departures available in summer every Thursday from 02 November 2023 to 25 April 2024. Additional departures are available in peak season as follows; Mon 18 Dec, Tue 26 Dec, Sun 31 Dec and Sun 8 Jan.

This service can be run on alternative days for a minimum of 5 people (or equivalent charge), subject to availability of supplier, please enquire.

6:50 am Pick up Te Anau Accommodation

7:10 am View Street Car Park Manapouri 

8:00 am Arrive Clifden Corner to connect with Lake Hauroko Tours

10:30 am Hauroko Burn Hut, start of the southern end of Dusky Track

Return from West Arm available any day, no bookings taken in advance you just turn up.
Departures daily at 11.00 am, or 4.15 pm Boat West Arm to Manapouri (there may be other departures available on the day).  Just turn up and check in at the West Arm Visitor Centre or down at the boats. The skippers there will let you know the next available departure. This service is with Real NZ.

If you need the bus from Manapouri to Te Anau you will need to contact us (as we won't know when you are there). 021 cell phone numbers work well, however if you do not have any battery, or cannot get a connection, have a chat to the boat skipper and ask them to ring Trips & Tramps. We will come and get you or use the RealNZ bus to transport you back to Te Anau.

Costs

Package Cost: NZD$339 per person.

Trampers package includes return transport from Manapouri or Te Anau, water taxi on Lake Hauroko to Dusky Track start plus RealNZ ferry West Arm to Manapouri.

This service can be run on alternative days for a minimum charge equivalent to 5 people, please enquire. 

Personal Locator beacon essential Equipment

Please have a location beacon to walk this track, it can save your life. Beacons can be hired at www.locatorbeacons.co.nz.

 

Dusky Track Information

The Dusky Track offers experienced hikers a true New Zealand tramping experience with lush forest, wild rivers, and unrivaled scenery. The Dusky Track is a challenging but rewarding 84 km tramping track through Fiordland National Park. It takes eight to ten days to complete and links stunning Lake Hauroko with Lake Manapouri. It also offers a two day optional detour to Supper Cove in Dusky Sound.

Note: There are 21 3-wire bridges on this track, and you can expect to encounter tree falls, deep mud, tree roots and river crossings. Flooding of parts of the track is not unusual and can cause delays for several days. This is not for inexperienced or poorly equipped groups and the best strategy is to take time out to enjoy the track and do one hut a day!

Keep Safe

The Dusky Track is only recommended for experienced, well equipped groups with high fitness level.

Plan properly for your trip and ensure your party has a capable, experienced leader.

  • Please ensure you carry a Personal Locator Beacon or a Mountain Radio, and topographical maps for navigation.
  • Topo50 series maps covering the Dusky Track are: CE05 Cooper Island, CE06 Lake Roe and CD06 Deep Cove.
  • Take enough food, clothing and equipment, portable stoves and fuel. Allow extra food and time for possible delays.
  • Take care with river crossings. Sections of the Dusky Track flood easily. If in doubt, sit it out. Common flood areas are just before Loch Maree (an emergency shelter exists on track from Lake Roe), and along the route to Supper Cove and from Loch Maree Hut to Kintail Hut.
  • Check at the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre for conditions before you go.

Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.

January 24 - Tramper report

Thank you very much for our Dusky Track transport. The transport all went very smoothly at both ends and we really enjoyed tramping the track, it was an amazing experience. It was as challenging as expected, and all the various difficulties to negotiate we were warned about were definitely present. The mud (up to thigh / waist deep), sandflies (in swarms especially at Loch Marie), river crossings, three-wires, tree falls and steep ups and downs did not disappoint. Most trampers on the track took longer than the DOC brochure track times by at least an hour and we were no exception, sometimes up to 2 hours over the longer track time stated, so that could be worth flagging to future trampers. The track maintenance is quite poor in most sections with many obstacles over the track to negotiate, with some easier than others. Track markers are also variable in places - we managed to stay on the track throughout but several other trampers followed pink tape trap lines and went off-track making their days longer than otherwise expected. Advising trampers to be careful and look for markers rather than following footprints would be sensible as some footprints lead the wrong way. Wood was all quite damp for starting fires but we managed each time to start a fire when we needed it. We saw excellent bird life including kea, blue duck and rock wren. Great views from both high points during the track - over the tops from Lake Roe, and from Centre Pass. We are now back home in Wellington after a great, satisfying, tramping holiday.

Jon Kennedy 

November 23 - Tramper report

The track seemed in pretty good condition overall to be honest. There were a few spots with some tree fall that had to be walked around but that is to be expected, none were really bad and each posed only a short delay to navigate. From memory the first two days and the final day had the most.(maybe 10 on each section between Hauroko Hut and Halfway Hut and day two to Lake Roe Hut). There were also a few on the other sections, but certainly not common.
The track certainly wasn't overgrown with vegetation but also obviously isn't maintained to the same standard as a more heavily used track close to a road end. Its condition/maintenance is about what we expected.
Track marking was good. You had to keep an eye on the direction they led you as markers were well spaced without seeing multiple from any one spot. To be honest it was nice to have to keep your wits about you to pick up the track. This was probably most needed around tree falls and mud obstacles as multiple routes seem to have been taken around these. Generally the track continued in the same direction as an obstacle was encountered.
Most of the track was pretty muddy in places, but it looked like this was the case all the time! We actually only went up to our knees in mud once. By carefully stepping on fallen branches or dryer spots you can bypass the worst of the mud without too much trouble.
All the bridges were in good condition (and very much appreciated) and we didn't end up getting our feet wet at all while crossing any unbridged creeks.
All huts were clean and tidy with adequate wood supply.
We went down to Supper Cove as well. The section of track past the big ladder on this section was that good it was bikeable! I must admit this did make a pleasant change. I also take my hat off to those involved with the track and drain building on that section in the early part of the 1900's. They certainly made a good job with some benching of bluffs and  track side drains still clearly evident.
Made an effort to use the low tide route to Supper Cove, but this wasn't really worth the effort (early start to catch low tide). Notes in hut books talked about a rough high tide route. It is really no worse than the rest of the track!
All in all a fantastic track, in a stunning environment, that offers a real sense of achievement in walking. Thanks for your great service, we both really appreciated it and the tramp is one to certainly remember.
Phil Clerke

March 23 - Tramper report

Pete and I went through in 7 days.
Extra day at loch maree hut due to torrential rain so excluded the side trip to Supper Cove as we were under a time frame for flights. The decent down to loch maree is probably the hardest very steep. There was extensive windfall on the track up to Kintail hut. DOC had cleared the track down from centre pass but the last day out from upper Spey hut was slow due to more windfall. Doc said 4hrs we took 5.2hrs otherwise we were within DOC times. 
Recommend long gaiters a hiking pole to test bog depth small water bottle as there is lots of water on track and fire starters as the cut logs were very green and wet. 
Thanks again for you patience as our trip numbers went from 7 to 2  resulting in major rearranging and I have no hesitation in referring your company for anyone doing the Dusky. 
Cheers John 

Jan 23 - Tramper report

When I walked Dusky Track, it was particularly annoying with the tree falls in the following sections:
  • Kintail Hut to Upper Spey Hut: after Centre Pass, there are some intense tree falls in the last 2km to Upper Spey Hut. This section is also steep (downhill) and marks are not obvious due to the tree falls, which makes it harder.
  • Upper Spey Hut to West Arm: From Upper Spey Hut to Dashwood Stream, tree falls are still significant, but not as bad as the section after Centre Pass from Kintail Hut to Upper Spey Hut.

Aaron

 

Thanks to Phil and Jack Clerke for this amazing footage!

Jack and Phil did the Dusky Track in November 2023, and have shared their experience. It is good watch to see what you may be in for!

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