Introduction

This unmarked route is for experienced trampers and travels through diverse country.

Track overview

30 km one way

Walking and tramping

13 hr Advanced: Tramping track
Expert: Route

Other activities

  • Horse riding

Dog access

Dogs on a leash only

About this track

Description

Trampers can follow Snowy Gorge Creek and descend into Maitland valley near Lake Ohau. Exiting out of the lower Maitland valley requires prior permission from the landholder Lake Ohau Station, phone: +64 3 438 9663

Birchwood Road to Snowy Gorge Hut

Track category: Route
Time: 5 hr
Distance: 11 km

Cross Ahuriri River at a suitable crossing point within Ahuriri Conservation Park (not marked). Snowy Gorge Creek flows through an open tussock clad valley. Snowy Gorge Hut is not easily visible because it is hidden behind a moraine wall.

Snowy Gorge Hut.

Snowy Gorge Hut

Category: Basic/bivvies
Facilities: 5 bunk beds, mattresses
Bookings not required - first come, first served

Snowy Gorge Hut to Maitland Hut

Track category: Route
Time: 4 hr
Distance: 9 km

It is a steady climb to the pass between Snowy Gorge Creek and Maitland Stream at 1352 m. Scattered wetlands feature near the pass and then it is a straightforward descent into Maitland valley in the Ruataniwha Conservation Park. Watch out for aciphylla/spaniard plants along the way.  

Snowy Gorge Creek with Snowy Gorge Hut (foreground).
Snowy Gorge Creek with Snowy Gorge Hut (foreground)

Maitland Hut.

Maitland Hut

Category: Standard
Facilities: 4 bunk beds, heating, mattresses
Bookings not required - first come, first served

Maitland Hut to Lake Ohau

Track category: Tramping track
Time: 4 hr
Distance: 10 km

The track travels through beech forest with several crossings of Maitland Stream. There is a steep climb at the end of the track before descending to Lake Ohau Road through private farmland. You will require prior permission from the landholder, Lake Ohau Station, to exit this way.

Beech clad Maitland valley.
Beech clad Maitland valley in Ruataniwha Conservation Park

Getting there

Turn off SH8 onto Birchwood Road, 17 km south of Omarama. The turnoff has a signpost for Ahuriri Conservation Park.

Horse riding

You will need to cross the Ahuriri River to access Snowy Gorge Creek. 

Know before you go

Map: NZTopo50 BZ14 Mount Barth

Dog access

There is an ongoing trapping and poison operation for possums in this area. Monitor your dog and use a muzzle to avoid any potential scavenging of possum carcasses.

If you are doing the through trip to Lake Ohau you will need permission from the landholder to take your dog through private farmland above Lake Ohau. Contact Lake Ohau Station, phone: +64 3 438 9663.

Contacts

Te Manahuna / Twizel Office
Phone:   +64 3 435 0802
Email:   twizel@doc.govt.nz
Address:   15 Wairepo Road
Twizel 7901
Full office details
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