Posts tagged “hump ridge track

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.


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


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!


HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Joyce and Johan – Wairaurahiri Jet

These two caring kiwi’s took out the 2010 Southland Environment Awards Environmental Achiever prize for their volunteer stoat trapping program, great work guys!

Joyce and Johan are very passionate about the bird life in our untouched piece of Fiordland National Park.   They have been successfully trapping stoats and rats along the Wairaurahiri River where their Jet Boating business (Wjet) operates since June 2006.

On average they catch approximately 300 stoats and 300 rats every year.   Stoats kill whenever possible – even animals bigger than they are.  Every opportunity they get to rob a nest of eggs or kill a native NZ bird, they take – even if they aren’t hungry!

The traps all have bright pink spring loaded flags which pop up when the trap is set off.   Every time Johan takes a boat trip down the river he stops at all the traps which have their flags flying to reset them so they can catch more.  Every trap has a sponsor and there is a tally of how many dirt rotten rats and slimy stoats each sponsor has caught in their trap.

As well as down the river, Joyce and Johan also have stoat traps along the South Coast track and another 80 made for the Hump Ridge Track.  We are just on the lookout for further sponsorship so we can fly them to the top and get the traps into position, helping our beautiful native birds.

The most common question asked about their trapping program is – why do you trap the stoats in the first place?  Well, stoats were introduced in New Zealand to help control the growing rabbit problem back in the late 1800’s, unfortunately they like it here a bit too much (especially in our native forests) having no natural preditors!

If you want to know more about Joyce and Johan’s stoat trapping program or their must-do exhilarating jetboat day trip down the fast flowing Wairaurahiri River go to their website www.wjet.co.nz.

Joyce checking a stoat trap
This dirty rat didn’t get away!