Overnight backpacking. New Zealand wilderness. Hut accommodation. Unique vegetation and bird life. Access to Mount Owen. 16.6 kilometers (10.4 miles) round trip. 4,593 ft. elevation gain.

Once in Tapawera, follow the signs indicating Kahurangi National Park by way of the Wangapeka Valley. The road winds, becomes gravel, and narrows before it dead-ends at Courthouse Flat where you'll find picnic tables and restrooms. Begin the trek by following either the ridge or the Blue Creek Track. Both take approximately the same amount of time and have similar gradients. However, the Blue Creek Track provides more cover from the elements. Once the ridge and Blue Creek Track merge, the main trail continues to weave its way steeply through beech forest. Watch your step as some areas in this section of the trail can be quite narrow and uneven. The signs say it will take 6 hours to reach the hut but most people will be able to do so in less time.

There is a fair bit of descent included in the approach to the hut so keep that in mind for the return trip. It will probably take the same amount of time to return to your vehicle as it did to hike in. The "staircase" section of the trail is a steep clamor through roots and moss covered boulders and could be more aptly referred to as "the ladder." Once through this section the trail becomes a marked route through a dry stream bed and travel is easier. Shortly after leaving the stream bed you will arrive at Granity Pass Hut.

The hut is set just above the bushline in a rolling tussock valley. Water is available in a rainwater catchment barrel but is untreated. The hut is fairly new and very spacious for 12 bunks. The only thing that is lacking is a wood fire, so bring adequate warm clothing.

A small trail continues past the hut and into Sanctuary Basin and on to the summit of Mount Owen - Kahurangi's tallest peak. This fantastic walk is a must do! Even if you don't make the summit, Sanctuary Basin is worth a visit.

Pack List

  • Sleeping bag
  • Backpack
  • Warm layers
  • Water purification
  • Camera
  • Hut ticket purchased from any DOC visitor center
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RT Distance 10.4 Miles
Elevation Gain 4593 Feet
Activities Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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