Author Archive

Walk with Ken Tustin – Fiordland’s ‘Moose Man’


Ken Tustin, wild animal ecology scientist and nature guide has been announced as the third ‘celebrity’ walker on the Hump Ridge Track themed Celebrity Walk Week in March 2011.

Ken has spent years in the Fiordland bush, many of them trying to confirm the existence of Moose. His passion for Fiordland, it’s landscape, history and wildlife has also had him nature guiding on Real Journeys “Discovery” cruises each winter.

Celebrity Walk Week is an annual fundraiser for the Tuatapere Hump Track Trust – the charitable trust that manages the track. All money raised goes into track and facility upgrading.

“I’m delighted my wife Marg and I are taking part in the 2011 Hump Ridge Celebrity walk!”

Celebrity Walk Week participants can have their packs flown between lodges, a hot shower when they arrive and a gourmet meal cooked for them each night.

The walk is priced at only $995pp (the best value, three-day guided walk in Fiordland) and places are expected to fill up fast as additional celebrity guides are announced.

For track information, package details or to book, go to http://www.humpridgetrack.co.nz or contact the Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track office on 03 226 6739.


Celebrity photo tour with Clive Copeman

Clive Copeman, Dunedin photographer/guide has been announced as the second ‘celebrity’ walker on the Hump Ridge Track themed Celebrity Walk Week in March 2011.

Clive first realized the Hump Ridge’s photographic potential as part of a Jules Lund tour at the start of this year and has come back to help snap happy walkers make the most of their surroundings on the celebrity walk.

Celebrity Walk Week is an annual fundraiser for the Tuatapere Hump Track Trust – the charitable trust that manages the track.  All money raised goes into track and facility upgrading.

“The Hump Ridge Track offers some of the best visual variety of any of New Zealand’s walks with coastal, forest, heritage and alpine scenery to enjoy.”  said Clive.  “It’s a feast for photographers.”

Celebrity Walk Week participants can have their packs flown between lodges, a hot shower when they arrive and a gourmet meal cooked for them each night.

The walk is priced at only $995pp (the best value, three-day guided walk in Fiordland) and places are expected to fill up fast as additional celebrity guides are announced.

For track information, package details or to book, go to www.humpridgetrack.co.nz or contact the Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track office on 03 226 6739.


Less than two weeks to get your entries in!

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————–Entry Form 2010

Destination Fiordland Photographic Competition

Less than two weeks to get your entries in!

Amazing photos of Fiordland and its people are starting to trickle in as the deadline approaches for entries in this year’s photographic competition.

“Every year, at this time we start to get nervous about the number of entries, but then they come in thick and fast at the last minute” says Destination Fiordland Marketing Manager Toni Ellis. “People realise now that they don’t have to be a professional photographer to be awarded a prize, it is clear that a lot of the entries so far have been taken by locals at work or play in Fiordland”.

There is a bigger than ever prize pool this year with over $3000 worth of prizes to be won.

$300 CASH is up for grabs as first prize in each of the 4 main categories:

§       Fiordland Wilderness Experiences – Landscapes of Fiordland

§       Department of Conservation – Wildlife & Nature

§       Tracknet – People in the Park

§       Murrell’s Grand View House – Life in Fiordland

Entrants need to enter in one of these 4 main categories, but will be eligible for lots of other great prizes including a ‘Freedom Walk Package’ from the Tuatapere Humpridge Track and an ‘Annual Hut Pass’ from the Department of Conservation.

An Exhibition showcasing the talent of the entrants will take place at the Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas.  This is just one of the events in the Fiordland Art Society – Multi Media Exhibition being held in Te Anau & Manapouri over labour weekend.

Entry forms for the Destination Fiordland Photographic Competition are available from all of the sponsors mentioned, the Southern Discoveries Information Centre & can be down loaded from the Destination Fiordland website: www.fiordland.org.nz

All entries must be delivered to the Southern Discoveries Te Anau Information Centre, by 1pm Sunday 3rd October 2010, but don’t leave it till the last minute – ENTER NOW!!!

For further information contact:

Toni Ellis, Marketing Coordinator, Destination Fiordland

Tel: 03 249 7959; Email: toni@fiordland.org.nz

www.fiordland.org.nz


Come walking with Barbara Kendall in March ’11

Barbara Kendal is our first Celebrity guest, walking during 1 – 3 March 2011 for our annual fundraising guided walk.

Celebrity Walk 2011 flyer Barbara’s profile

“For many years Shayne and I  have had on our wish list to walk an iconic track in NZ,  I had heard from many people how awesome the Hump Ridge Track is and it should be one of the must do’s!!!  Now finally we have a chance – come and join us I know we will all have alot of fun!!!.” Barbara Kendall, August 2010

So what is the deal?

Guided Hump Ridge walk in Fiordland National Park
Coastal to alpine vistas
Great kiwi atmosphere
Heli packing  daily
Mouth watering cuisine
Hot showers/flush toilets
Awesome spot prizes
Pre walk B & B included
Private room options
Great value – Just $995!

Book now, spots are extremely limited and filling fast.

Contact us at walk@humpridge track or go to our website www.humpridgetrack.co.nz  for further details and to book.


Great Value Rent-a-Dent Hump Ridge Deal

Planning a trip to the track and still looking at transport options?

Seriously consider a Rent – a – Dent rental car from Queenstown, Te Anau or Invercargill – you can pick your car up from the airport – easy as.

They are offering our walkers a fantastic 40% off when you are coming down to walk the track

If you hire a car for five days, two of them will be for free – it’s a bargain!

Rent a dent - Queenstown, Te Anau or Invercargill

Driving times (these are direct times, with no hold ups or stops which are both common):

Invercargill – Tuatapere 1 hour

Te Anau – Tuatapere 1 hour 20 minutes

Queenstown – Tuatapere 2 hours

  • The Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track is a loop track and starts 20 minutes from Tuatapere itself and it’s really handy to have your own vehicle to get you to the carpark.   This also means you can take your time on the last day – no need to rush to meet our track transport at a particular time.
  • There is a donation box at the entrance of the carpark, and residents nearby who watch over the cars.  This system has worked really well over the years and there hasn’t been much trouble.
  • If you are heading down during the busy summer months – make sure you get in quick, they don’t have an endless supply of cars and with this awesome deal they are snapped up quickly.
  • If you don’t have your own vehicle, we offer a track transport service from Tuatapere to the Start/Finish for $40 return per person. Please book this when you book your walk.
  • Click on the city your are flying to, at www.rentadent.co.nz

Track inspection & a cautionary tale

Last week Ali and I took to the hills to inspect the accumulated winter damage on the Hump Ride track and lodges, and complete the second stage of GPS marking from Stag Point to Port Craig.

Later in the day we would be joined by Hump Ridge Trust Treasurer, Les Johnston, as well as Johan Groters and Joyce Kolk (of Wairaurahiri Jet) for a well-earned steak supper and a few obligatory tinnies. The next day we would all continue the journey, checking stoat traps and marking points of historical note along the tramway approach to Port Craig. Hopefully this will eventually lead to the creation of an interpretative information leaflet for the Percy Burn to Port Craig tramway walk.

Happily, we managed to miss the winter storms that battered the south coast either side of our trip, and had two glorious days’ on the track. Neither lodge had suffered much winter damage, track repairs being limited to windfall and mud removal: a big relief for Ali! Johan and Joyce also found a large haul of stoats and rats in their traps – fantastic news for their ongoing trapping operation.

On a less positive note, our trip also brought us face-to-face with the dark side of tourist trampers in New Zealand. While Ali and I were checking over the Okaka lodge, a young male tramper wondered in carrying an enormous pack, wearing jeans, a cotton t-shirt, flimsy canvas trainers and with very little food to last the trip. He (who will remain nameless) had set out from Rarakau at noon the previous day, was unable to reach Okaka before nightfall and had bivvied at Stag Point. He had no map, no adequate wet-weather kit, no locator beacon and no mobile phone, had left no notice of intentions, had not registered with the Hump Ridge Track to undertake the walk, and had not told anyone of his whereabouts.

Ali and I warned the tramper of the foolishness of his actions to date but he was determined to continue around the track. Having been briefed on the track and its condition, he set off – promising to notify us after he had got off the track. It was with considerable relief that the tramper came into the office a few days later, cold, exhausted, extremely hungry and with feet covered in blisters from his inadequate footwear.

This tramper’s negligence not only endangered his own life but could have resulted in considerable financial and emotional repercussions if a Search and Rescue operation had become necessary. More than likely, though, as the young man had not notified anyone of his intention to walk and had no means of calling for assistance in case of difficulty, rescue (and even recovery) would be extremely unlikely if he had walked off the track.

Sadly, this incident put a severe damper on our lovely two days on the track. Please, if you are coming to New Zealand and plan to go tramping, bring adequate kit/supplies and tell someone where you are going (and when you return). Don’t become the next statistic.

Written By Kate Hebblethwaite, Operations Manager, Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track

Okaka's view of Te Waewae Bay on a beautiful winters day


Okaka or Port Craig – what’s your favourite?

For a short lodge description, see our last post

https://fiordland.wordpress.com/2010/08/19/volunteer-at-one-of-our-lodges-for-free/


Volunteer at one of our lodges – for free…

We are lining up volunteer helpers for our lodges throughout summer.  This is a great opportunity for you to get away from it all for a couple of days to week or so and meet other like minded people walking the track.

Our remote lodges are in a totally different category to DOC huts.  Each lodge has a modern gas fire to keep the lounge nice and toasty plus and optional hot showers and premium rooms with super kingsize beds available to freedom walkers –  we are the only walking track in Fiordland that offer this service and as the word gets out, its getting more and more popular!

Hear the birds, watch the dolphins swim by

Our lodge at Port Craig is on the edge of Te Waewae Bay on the south coast.  A couple of minutes bush walk to Mussel Beach we have a resident family of Hector’s Dolphin and amazing sunrises.  In the 1920’s Port Craig was a remote sawmill community.  Many artefacts and of course huge viaducts still remain for you to read about and explore.

Spectacular location for comfortable facilities

Okaka is an alpine wonderland!  Spectacular 360 degree views from the nearby loop track of the coast, Te Waewae Bay, Stewart Island, Solander Islands, and of course Fiordland mountains and lakes.  Absolutely breathtaking.  The loop track  winds around alpine tors and tarns and beautiful native gardens.  Deer are often seen from the lodge balcony.

Generally these days you have to pay to volunteer right?!  Not with us – as long as you are happy to walk between lodges you can experience our paradise for FREE this season – and food is included!  All we ask for is a couple of hours helping per day – what a deal… get in quick, our volunteers last season loved it!

“I just have taken another look at my pictures and thaught of you! THANK YOU for the nice time as a volunteer. I miss my time in New Zealand and wish to be there now in winter :)” Kerstin, Germany

Contact Kate, our operations manager for more information on this once in a lifetime experience.

Email Kate@humpridgetrack.co.nz


Destination Fiordland photo comp – great prizes!

The Okaka Loop Track

This is a great opportunity to dust off those photo albums (or like most of us, look in your ‘Fiordland Adventures’ photo file) and admire your prized shots of your Hump Ridge experience. 

The Hump Ridge is just one of those places where you will inevitably run out of memory (or film) in your camera.  Whenever I’m lucky enough to be on the track I can’t help adding to my photo folder – there is always something new I need to capture – the light, clouds, colours.  Love it!

Go on – take a minute and have another look at your captured memories.  The priceless photo when you finally got to the top and discover “it was worth it!” Okaka Loop track rewarding you with it’s 360 degree views.  Balancing on the overhanging Luncheon Rock infront of the Southern Ocean on the way down the ridge or walking over the largest wooden viaduct in the world.  Amazing to think it was built by hand. 

There are so many of those priceless pics out there showing how Fiordland made you feel – this is your chance to show fellow kiwis, and win great prizes!  

Entry into the photo competition is free, all you have to do is post a hard copy of your photo(s), and entry form (matted 8″x12″) to 

Te Anau Information Centre – Lakefront Drive, P.O.Box 49, Te Anau. 

Now, I know there are lots of you out there who just don’t have the time to get them printed, post them away etc.  All you need to do it send a CD with your photos on it to the Te Anau Photoshop, (with the completed entry form for each photo) and they will do the rest for you!  How easy is that?!  Details on the entry form.

I just talked to them and it costs just $10 per photo.  You can call them with your credit card details or send a cheque with your cd.  As simple as that!  you will have your hands on that $500 in no time…

All the terms and conditions are on the entry form (link just below), along with instructions for displaying your photos etc. 

http://www.fiordland.org.nz/files/Photo-Comp-Entry-Form-2010.pdf 

GOOD LUCK! – Oh and before I forget we are giving away a freedom walk package for the best Hump Ridge photo… got to be in to win! 

Now, I’m off to hunt for my own priceless picy before I forget!


Hubbard’s Clipboard issue 112 – great breaky read!

Are you a Hubbard’s Cereal lover?  If so, chances are you have read our community volunteer story that features on the inside of their clipboard.  Well, what do you think?  Please add a comment below and tell us!

We are getting lots and lots of feedback about the story, thank you to Hubbard’s for spreading the word to Kiwi cereal fans!

If you haven’t seen this issue of Clipboard (found in all Hubbard’s cereal boxes), I’ll tell you the story…

A long, long time ago… (ah sorry, I forget it’s not really a nursery rhyme)

From an idea floated at a Tuatapere Promotions meeting in 1988, a charitable trust was formed to build the track and facilities, raising over $3 million and obtaining permission from private land owners and the government. The track is now run and maintained by the Tuatapere Hump Track Charitable Trust, whose members are all volunteers from the community with a passion for the Hump Ridge Track and the future well being of the Tuatapere community.

It took locals from 1988 to Dec 2000 to pass through all the red tape and gain the many consents required to build the track but it was finally opened on November 2nd 2001 by Prime Minister RT Hon Helen Clark.  Many community members have donated and continue to donate hundreds of hours to its upkeep and maintenance.

The track is amazing.  The diversity, lodge facilities and 360 degree views make it one of a kind.  It’s a really special experience and the best part of all is it’s working.  Tuatapere is along the Southern Scenic Route and we have tourists travellers stopping by daily.  Many businesses in the area are successful thanks to increased custom the track has brought in and Tuatapere is still alive and well.

Around 25,000 community hours went into construction with another 20,000 or so since then for track upkeep.  This included building the boardwalk into 3 metre length at a local woolshed during the evenings for 12 months prior to getting the actual construction team in.  The track took nine months to build, the construction team included professionals plus locals helping them.  Every piece of the 10kms of boardwalk has netting on it, stapled by hand, by volunteers.  How’s that for dedication?