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. 

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
  • 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 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.

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

Jan 23 - Tramper report

The track was in a mixed state - mud not an issue  but there is significant tree fall on the sections from Kintail through to the Wilmot Pass Road. This slows you down a bit. If the hut book is to be believed the section from Upper Spey to the pass road will have work done on it in Feb by DOC. In the meantime there is a pink cruiser tape line put in by the trap folk that makes for a good route. 
DOC has installed some chains on the Kintail to Centre Pass section. Very useful. 
With respect to the low tide route to and from Supper Cove - only look for this from the hut if it’s a very low tide- at 0.6m low tide it was a no go. Could still avoid the bulk of the high tide route by dropping down from the track around the outcrop before/after the hut. 
Track was pretty busy for us with a max of 15 at Loch Maree. 
Jill Spooner

Jan 23 - Tramper report

Thanks for making the to and from Dusky so easy.

The tramp is certainly the hardest I’ve done in 20 years of tramping in NZ, but we’ll worth it. Normally my route times are DoC-1, but sections on Dusky were nearer DoC+1. There’s currently a lot of windfall across the route from Centre Pass through to Wilmot Pass road, which makes for particularly slow going at times (as opposed to just generally slow going  ). That’s also taken out a walkwire over Waterfall Creek near upper Spey and a walkwire crossing the secondary channel of Dashwood Stream (Dec 2022). You can’t hurry Dusky, take your time.

The low tide route out to Supper Cove is surely only a dead-low Spring tide phenomenon - and even then might require a wade? I couldn’t find it 2 hrs before / after low, at least not all the way - the first section (coming from Loch Maree) is fine. There is advice on finding it in Loch Maree hut.
Side trip to Tamatea Peak (from Lake Roe) the highlight on a clear day with the whole of SW Fiordland to take in - good travel up the ridge to 1595 m spot height with occasional cairns to assist in route finding - too much snow in the way to reach the actual summit at 1640 m in early December.

Rough, scrambly, rooty, slippery, muddy, occasionally marked and not always where it’s placed on the Topo map (according to Topo GPS), but the Dusky is utterly rewarding in its challenge and I was very blessed to have done it.

Dec 2022 - Tramper report

We had a great time and the weather was actually alright for us most days.
We were generally right on time with the recommended DOC times, but on the last day from Upper Spey Hut to the road end it took us 7.5 hours total, including lunch break, around 6 hours of walking due to significant tree fall. This is signposted at 4.5 hours. - Florian, Andy and Jasper

Oct 2022 - DOC Alert

3-Wire bridge over Dashwood Stream in Spey Valley is CLOSED as damaged by tree fall. Do not attempt to cross river when in flood.  Significant windall damage possible on track.  Allow additional travel time.

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

Thanks to Nick Kowalski for this amazing footage!

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

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