Tramper, North-South Track

Image: DOC


This is a multi-day tramp using rugged, unmarked routes suitable for expert backcountry trampers only. Trampers will need to camp in addition to staying in huts.

Track overview

82 km approx. one way

Walking and tramping

5 - 7 days Expert: Route

Dog access

No dogs
  • Stop kauri dieback and protect kauri
    • Kauri dieback disease is spread through soil.
    • Scrub soil off shoes and gear and check it's all removed before you go.
    • Use a cleaning station when you enter and leave.
    • Always stay on the track.

    How you can help save kauri

About this track


The North-South Track takes at least five days of serious tramping. The walk can be shortened by entering or exiting the Forest Park at a side track. This tramp involves many river crossings, steep and technical terrain, and includes remote areas which are challenging to maintain and may involve navigating around landslides and fallen trees. 

The old North-South track along the crest of the main range from Mount Te Aroha through Pahiko and Wahine Rock is an unmaintained route, extremely muddy, and often overgrown. It is suitable for expert backcountry trampers only. 

The recommended North-South track is via Waitawheta Hut, and the Waitawheta and Wharawhara valleys. 

There are some huts which can be used during this tramp but camping is also necessary along the way.

Note that Kauritatahi and Mangamuka huts are well off the main track, and are accessed by difficult routes. Since the distance between these two huts is not considered a reasonable day’s tramp, camping is unavoidable. It is therefore better to skip both huts and plan to camp once or twice near Thompson’s Track junction, along the Aongatete River, north of Wairere Falls Track junction, and/or at Ngamuwahine Shelter. 

The following itinerary, over seven days, is a guide only:

Getting there

The track starts from Karangahake Gorge, off SH2 at Karangahake. The track exits on to SH29 at the Kaimai Summit.

Know before you go

There is a river crossing on this track.

You must be well prepared when tramping. Ensure you have a tent, sleeping bag, topographic map, torch, strong boots, warm clothing, a good raincoat, first aid kit, ample food and drink, a hat, and sunscreen. Do not rely on mobile coverage, which is intermittent.

Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.


Tauranga Office
Phone:   +64 7 578 7677
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   253 Chadwick Road West
Greerton West
Tauranga 3112
Postal Address:   PO Box 9003
Greerton West
Tauranga 3142
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