Introduction

The Moonlight Pack Track offers the opportunity to see reminders of the gold mining history of the area, and to walk through West Coast native beech forest.

Track overview

6.5 km one way

Walking and tramping

2 - 3 hr one way Easy: Walking track

Mountain biking

Advanced: Grade 4

Dog access

No dogs

About this track

Description

This is a great track if you want an easy day walk with endless views of historic and natural significance. The track has a gentle gradient and was originally a pack track. You may see blue duck/whio while walking alongside the riverbed, so be sure to have your camera with you! You will also see the predator traps which protect the wildlife in the surrounding area.

Andersons Flat - Meechams Historic Hut Site

Time: 1 hr

From the clearing at Andersons Flat, the well-formed track runs up the valley through regenerating forest at a moderate gradient. The track crosses the creek once on the way up. Meechams Historic Hut Site is is signposted right before the second swing bridge. The hut is slightly off the track and you will also see walls of stacked stone tailings from gold claims.

Peter Passeni Hut as it was in 1960 - the chimney still stands today at Passenis Historical Hut Site
Peter Passeni Hut as it was in 1960 - the chimney still stands today

Meechams Historic Hut Site - Passenis Historic Hut Site

Time: 30 min

After crossing the swing-bridge the river forks out, and after a brief walk you will see the sign-posted Passenis Historic Hut Site just before the third swing bridge. You will also see parts of the Moonlight quartz stamping battery above the river that is forked. You will begin to notice the transition between the beech and hardwood forests. 

Passenis Historic Hut Site - Miekles Historic Hut Site - Paparoa Tops

Time: 1 – 1 hr 30 min

Once you have crossed the third swing bridge the track gradually inclines towards the Miekles Historic site. Along the river bed keep an eye out for blue duck/whio.

The track then zigzags upwards with the bench formation ending 30 minutes later where the forest starts to take on a sub-alpine appearance. A rough, steep track continues for 20 minutes to emerge in the open 'tops' about 10 minutes below the crest of the range. 

Getting there

9 km north of the Blackball turn-off, where the Atarau Road bends past a picnic area, turn left onto the Moonlight Valley Road as it runs off toward the range. It's a good but narrow gravel road.

After 6 km the road crosses the creek at the site of Middletown, then climbs to end 3 km further on at Andersons Flat. The Moonlight Track ends at the historic Meikles Hut and then turns into the Croesus Moonlight route taking you along the tops of the Paparoas.

View a map of the Croesus and Moonlight Pack Tracks (PDF, 831K)

Mountain biking

Start point: Moonlight car park
End point: Meikles Hut

Another great ride along a historic miner’s path. The start of this track weaves in between some impressive, boulder-stacked gold tailings. As a result the initial terrain is rough and rocky. 

Once across the first swing-bridge, the track becomes a mix of very smooth, benched single track with intermittent rougher sections. Find the old Meikles Hut tucked in the bush. There is a short section of rideable track just beyond here.

Know before you go

Contacts

Paparoa National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 731 1895
Email:   paparoavc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   4294 Coast Road
Punakaiki
RD 1
Runanga 7873
Full office details
Reefton Visitor Centre i-SITE Information Centre
Phone:   +64 3 732 8391
Email:   reefton@i-site.org
Address:   67–69 Broadway
Reefton
Full office details
Māwhera / Greymouth Office
Phone:   +64 3 768 0427
Email:   greymouth@doc.govt.nz
Address:   17 High Street
Greymouth 7805
Full office details
Back to top