Explore Takitimu Mountains on these tracks and routes.

Track overview

Walking and tramping

Advanced: Tramping track

Dog access

No dogs

About this track


Dunrobin Valley Road to Aparima Hut via Aparima River Track

Time: 2 hr
Distance: 6 km

This track starts at the bridge over Pleasant Creek on the Dunrobin Valley Road, just before the boundary of the farm owned by Pleasant Valley Partnership. The marked track generally follows the true right of the Aparima River, passing through red tussock, beech forest, and past wire-rush peat wetlands. A swing bridge over the river is 5 min from Aparima Hut.

Aparima Hut to Spence Burn junction

Time: 1 hr
Distance: 5 km
Track category: Tramping track 

Follow the old bulldozed track through the forest onto the open terrace overlooking the Waterloo valley. Along this terrace, about 30 min from the hut, there is a prominent bend in Aparima River and a marked track enters the forest near the edge of the high bank. A large peat wetland is reached after about 20 min. Cross the toe of the wetland to the track junction on the opposite forest edge.

Spence Burn junction to Aparima Forks Hut

Time: 1 hr 15 min
Distance: 4 km
Track category: Tramping track 

From the track junction follow the forest edge to the head of the peatwetland. After approximately half an hour the track stops on thetrue left bank of the main stream, downstream of the forks. Cross the main stream to some small clearings. Aparima Forks Hut is found on a terrace a short distance above, on the true right bank.

Spence Burn junction to Spence Hut

Time: 2 hr 30 min - 3 hr
Distance: 7 km
Track category: Route 

Enter the forest at the track junction, drop down to the Aparima River below the forks and ford the river. The marked route climbs sharply, and then traverses the true right side of the valley well abovethe river. It crosses to the other side after about 1 hr 30 min, then generally follows the true left bank until opposite Spence Hut, situated on an open site on the true right bank of the river.

Aparima Hut to Becketts Hut

Time: 2 hr 15 min
Distance: 6 km
Track category: Tramping track 

Becketts Hut is sited just inside the forest edge at the top of a small tussock clearing, on the true left of the Waterloo Burn. Note: the floor of the Waterloo Burn valley is part of Waterloo Station.

Lower Princhester Hut to Becketts Hut

Time: 3 hr 30 min– 4 hr
Distance: 8.5 km
Track category: Route 

Lower Princhester Hut is sited at the end of Princhester Road (gravel), which branches off SH94 just over Princhester Creek. You need permission to access this area, phone +64 3 249 5838. A marked route climbs gradually up the true right of the Bog Burn catchment to a saddle in the Waterloo Burn headwaters. From there it bears left and downhill, crossing the Waterloo Burn. The route then follows the true left bank before re-crossing just before reaching open flats. Becketts Hut is on the true left about an hour down the valley.

Lower Wairaki Hut to Upper Wairaki Hut

Time: 4 hr
Distance: 8.5 km 

The Lower Wairaki Hut is sited close to where the Wairaki River leaves the forest. A route to the Upper Wairaki Hut, in the headwaters of the catchment, starts at the hut. This route (not signposted) drops down from the hut to the river where a large orange triangle is seen on the other side of the river. Cross the river and follow the true left of the valley for about an hour, where you will reach a track junction and a DOC sign. This section is part of Te Araroa Trail. Continue to follow the true left for 3 hr. Note: access from Ohai to the Lower Wairaki Hut is only possible through Beaumont Station – permission is needed from the station owners, phone +64 3 931 9858.

Cheviot Downs Hut

Foot access across private land to the Cheviot Downs Hut on conservation land is restricted. Permission is required, ph +64 3 249 8816. The hut has good views over the Te Anau basin and Fiordland, and gives access to climbs in the Excelsior Peak area.

Getting there

Legal access is limited to the Aparima River Track which starts at Pleasant Creek on Dunrobin Valley Road, and Princhester Road. However, 4WD vehicle access (experienced drivers only) is available further up the road via a locked gate – the key is available from the DOC Invercargill office, on a first-come-first-served basis. Contact the landowners to advise you have a key and will be travelling through their property – Pleasant Valley Station, phone +64 3 248 6133; Waterloo Station, phone +64 3 248 6145.

Know before you go

  • For your safety during March and April, the 'roar' (deer hunting season), you should wear hi-viz clothing and pack covers when tramping in the area.
  • NZTopo map sheets: CD08, CE08 and CE09
  • Weather and track conditions can change rapidly in this area, with strong winds, hail,snow and heavy rain possible at any time of the year, causing well-formed tracks to turn to deep mud and un-bridged river crossings to become dangerous.

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.


Murihiku / Invercargill Office
Phone:   +64 3 211 2400
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   7th Floor
CUE on Don
33 Don Street
Invercargill 9810
Postal Address:   PO Box 743
Invercargill 9840
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