The six-bunk Top Dingle Hut
- Carpark to Bush Hut 7-9 hr, 22 km
- Bush Hut to Cotters Hut 7-9 hr, 10 km
- Cotters Hut to Top Dingle Hut 3-4 hr, 12 km
- Top Dingle Hut to Ahuriri Valley 3-4 hr, 5 km
From the Turihuka Conservation Area at the confluence of the Dingle Burn and Lake Hawea, the track follows the Dingle Burn's true left for 6 km, It then climbs to a terrace 120 m above the river, where a cut track starts at the edge of the bush. In low to normal river flows you can follow the burn all the way to the six-bunk Bush Hut, though this does involve numerous river crossings.
Beyond Bush Hut, the track continues up the valley through beech forest before climbing up a narrow ridge for 200 m to bypass a large, unstable slip. After descending the track crosses a series of gullies before reaching the two-bunk Cotters Hut.
After Cotters travel is much easier, along grassy flats and terraces for much of the way to the historic Ben Avon Hut (day use only) and then to the six-bunk Top Dingle Hut. A marked track from this hut rises steeply 600 m to the ridge line, before descending into the Ahuriri Valley.
The Dingle Burn
From Hāwea Township follow the unsealed Dingleburn Station Road to the public carpark. From here access is by foot. The Dingle Burn Peninsula access track winds along the bluffs, and then alongside Lake Hāwea, leads to the Turihuka Conservation Area, where a sign points to the start of the Dingle Burn Track.
Know before you go
Adverse weather: The weather can change rapidly in New Zealand. Hypothermia is a real risk even in summer. Be prepared by having warm, windproof clothing and the appropriate footwear. Whiteout conditions caused by snow or low cloud may be present.
Be avalanche alert: This area has terrain that can produce avalanches that cross the track, usually from May into November. View avalanche information.
Unbridged rivers: There are river and stream crossings that become hazardous in heavy rain or snowmelt. Be prepared to turn back.
Private property: This track crosses private land. Respect the landowner's livestock and property: stay on the marked track until you reach the conservation land, leave gates as you find them and use stiles where provided. Livestock can be unpredictable – keep your distance at all times/go around if necessary.
No camping until the conservation area boundary.
Hunters may carry unloaded firearms on the track, if they have a current DOC hunting permit. Under no circumstances are firearms to be discharged before entering a permitted hunting area.