Track Transport

Dusky Track Transport

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$334

Transport Information

Access to the track at the south end of the Dusky at Lake Hauroko Burn, operates every Thursday (and Monday in peak season). 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.

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 by vehicle. 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. 

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

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
  • Te Anau DOC
  • Manapouri
  • Clifden Corner
  • Hauroko Burn Hut
  • Loch Maree Hut
  • Supper Cove Hut
  • West Arm Hut
  • Lake Manapouri
  • Lake Hauroko

Schedule

Departures in summer every Thursday from 03 November 2022 to 27 April 2023, plus Mondays between 12 December 2022 and 09 January 2023.

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.

Costs

Package Cost: NZD$334 per person.

Trampers package includes transport from Manapouri or Te Anau, water taxi on Lake Hauroko to Dusky Track start plus Real Journeys 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.

Mar 2022 - From Tramper Mark Nicholls

It was a great trip and the most UnDusky of Duskys - no rain for 8 days!

In terms of Feedback:
  1. the Track was very dry, compared to last time the Mud was very manageable- you could avoid a lot of it (particularly on the Seaforth river days; Supper cove-Loch Maree-Kintail) 
  2. There is a significant tree fall heading up Centre pass - about 10-15min past the last 3 wire bridge before the climb - you can't locate the track markers so it would be easy to go the wrong way - head up.
  3. If people want to climb Tamatea Peak - allow 4-5 hours, there is no marked route but aim for the Col between point 1595 and Tamatea - best to head up towards point 1595 and siddle around underneath 1595 to the col, getting to the peak from there is an un-marked but easy to follow route.
  4. For the 4.15pm Ferry from North Arm, allow 5 hours from Upper Spey Hut- note that they dont wait around!
  5. Thanks a bundle!

Mar 2022 - From Tramper Darryl

The track was in very good condition (due to no rain for quite a while) and DOC had just been through and cut away all the tree fall and slashered the fern from the track edge. The mud was still pretty full-on and would still be an issue if it was raining but we got all the way through with dry feet. Taking a hand line into Supper Cove was a good idea (we caught a couple of fish) and the side trip was well worth it. Also the side trip up Mt Memphis was also worth it - a great view from the top. We took 8 days (pretty much just did each hut in a day and this was easily do-able). We swam every night to freshen up so there was always plenty of options for that. All up a great trip.   

Jan 2022 - From Tramper Paul

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. 
Dusky track Paul Beesley

Photo from near Lake Roe Hut - looking back down the Hauroko Burn valley we came up from Lake Hauroko.  Photo credit Paul Beesley

Dec 2021 - No Current alerts from the DOC, but check with the Fiordland Visitor Centre before you depart.

DEC 2021 - From Tramper Andrew

We had a great time on the Dusky, emerging Saturday 4 December. Took the full 10 days, with days off at Lake Roe hut and Supper Cove. Weather was excellent overall. Thanks Steve for talking to PJ and reassuring him that it was worth going, despite the initial forecast.
The track was in reasonable nick, about what we expected. Pretty challenging for us slightly older codgers (69,69,67). Track times were a little optimistic for us, but more realistic than the ones we encountered on the Rakiura NW circuit two years ago; we completed each day either a bit over or just within the suggested time bracket.
In general the track was well marked. The worst section was Loch Marie - Supper Cove, the gnarly bit alongside the loch. All wire bridges were fine. Huts were tidy and rat free (as far as we could make out). Several were deficient in firewood, not that fires were needed for most of our trip. It would be good to suggest to future trampers that they scout round for dry dead wood, particularly when it is fine, to benefit subsequent trampers who arrive tired, wet and cold.
A fine day on the Pleasant Range.

Dec 2021 - From Tramper Maria

The track was generally very good and dry. The high water track to Supper Cove was well marked and easy to find from the estuary by chambering up until we intersected it. No as "scrambly and unpleasant" as the doc track brochure describes, particularly after surviving the brutal descent down Mt Pleasant before Loch Maree the day before. There are several hand fishing lines at Supper Cove hut left for people to use but hardly any tackle so recommend people take some tackle. We easily caught blue cod off the rocks directly on the path below the hut. Some cool 7 gilled sharks cruising around and we also saw little blue penguins out at sea at Supper Cove. All walk wires were intact. 

Nov 2021 - From Tramper Beatrice Fierens Gevaert

I heard of the Dusky Track almost as soon as I got in New Zealand, two years ago. It is often considered as "the toughest marked trek" in the country and therefore caught my attention. Who doesn't like a challenge, right? It's located in wild and remote Fiordland, you need a boat to reach both ends of the trail, it's known for its rugged terrain and bad weather, you have to carry at least 8 days of food (but preferably 10) and the rumor says that your pace is so slow that you're sometimes wondering if you're moving forward! Kiwi tramping at its best!
The track was high on my bucket list and I had to give it a try before leaving the country. As soon as I finished my work contract, I booked transport and off I went! Despite a beautiful sunny trip across Lake Hauroko, the weather wasn't gonna be my ally on this adventure... After the first fine hours, it started raining, and almost never stopped until the very last day. Fortunately, a few sunny spells allowed me to keep faith, but I'm not gonna lie: I was soaked and miserable most of the time!
The brochures didn't lie and I think the Dusky deserves its reputation. Tree falls, knee-deep mud, roots, river crossings, dense forests, floodings, steep ascents, rough terrain, walkwires, rain, mist, snow, exposed ridges, slippery slopes, hidden trail markers... it all made the track a real obstacle course. It definitely was a challenge, not only physically but mentally, especially as I was on my own!
But it was also amazing and rewarding. Going through those difficulties made me feel strong, determined and powerful! Getting out on the Wilmot Pass Road after (almost) 8 (straight) days of rain (and pain), I felt like I could do anything! And just for that feeling of fearlessness and bravery, it was worth the effort.
Would I recommend it? Definitely! But I would advise you to choose your time wisely ; it's probably more fun with a bit of sun! 

Thanks to Nick Kowalski for this amazing footage!

For more travel inspiration from Nick Kowalski, please visit his website.

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