Walking the Heaphy Track did not feature in our original one month New Zealand agenda since most importantly we had never heard of it, but secondly it is located a good distance away from the popular stomping ground of Fiordland National Park. We were intending to finish the trip with a tramp along the Kepler Track (near Te Anau), however our hopes were dashed when we arrived and were told the the track was closed due to late snow and avalanche danger. Eek!
Given the amazing wilderness experiences that we had in the first three weeks of our trip, we wanted to go out with a bang rather than filling time on a number of day hikes. Having heard many good reports about the Heaphy from fellow NZ trekkers, we decided to flex the VISA card a bit and make a mad trains, planes and automobiles-esque journey from Te Anau up to the north of the South Island in twenty four hours.
The remoteness of the trail head at Brown Hut lends itself to two transportation possibilities. Either catch a very early mini-bus from Nelson which will chug you over the hills and bumpy roads to the start, or do as we did and zoom over in a chartered plane after you\'ve had time for a leisurely breakfast. Certainly kick starts the adventure!
The Heaphy Track is the longest of the nine New Zealand Great Walks and it is easy to see why it features alongside the other heavyweights such as Routeburn, Milford and Tongariro. The scenic variety on the track was the highlight for us and the pictures and videos below hopefully do it justice. Loved every minute of it and would highly recommend!
Update: My Powelliphanta (Giant Land Snail) photo was featured in the unfortunate story on BBC about the DoC incident involving a faulty temperature probe in their conservation room: ... Link