New Zealand: Rakiura Great Walk (3 days / 32 km)

Trip Report - Rakiura Great Walk

The Rakiura Trek is the southernmost of the 10 New Zealand Great Walks. It is a coastal hiking trail through native bush and along sandy beaches if the tide allows. As with the other great walks, it has very well-maintained trails and accommodations, including both huts and campgrounds for tents. 

This trail is considered intermediate on the DOC website, but it is suitable for beginners with good fitness. There are many ups and downs but the trail is relatively flat and wide, with few technical challenges. It is also well-marked and very easy to navigate. Nonetheless, the route is not without its obstacles, the main one being the mud, which is particularly thick on the inland portion (day 2) of this trail.

If you can handle the mud, the Rakiura Trek is one of the best places to see a Kiwi in its natural habitat and enjoy the night sky as it is located within a dark sky sanctuary. There are also some relics from the past lumber operation on Stewart Island to stumble upon while trekking through the stunning fern-laden forest.

Trip Completed: March 2024

Trip Summary

Location: The Rakiura trek is located within the Rakiura National Park, on Stewart/Rakiura Island in the Southland region, New Zealand.

Traditional Territory: The Rakiura Trek is situated on Māori lands.

Maps and Resources

Website: Much of the information you will need is located on the official New Zealand Department of Conservation website, on the Rakiura Track page. On this website, you can find links to the booking website, the track brochure, the walking guide, the elevation profile, and more.

Map: I used a downloaded map on my phone from AllTrails. I did find that some of the information, particularly the elevation profile, was not always accurate. Instead, I would recommend getting a map from the visitors centre in Oban or printing a map from the official Rakiura Track webpage.

Permits & Reservations

Campsite/Hut Reservation: You can book tent s...

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