An excellent first tramping mission in a stunning part of Southland.
Location: Near Mossburn, take Dunrobin Valley Road until you reach private property and a DoC sign for the Aparima River track.
Access: From car-park to hut, 6km. It’s a lovely mix of bush next to the river (a few side streams to splash through/jump over), tussocks bog, and little bit of 4WD track. Plus a swing bridge close to the hut. The track itself is a classic sort of Kiwi tramping track – in that it can be a bit rough, tree roots, mud etc. So a lot of it would probably hard work for a wee one who isn’t strong on their feet. Ideal if they’re still in a backpack, or are capable walkers. The variety keeps it interesting for them 🙂 It took us about 3hrs including little breaks (plus a lunch stop).
Hut: Well, huts actually. The main one is an 8 bunk (platform) hut in reasonable condition. DoC website says 12 bunks which I assume takes into account the other hut. Much older with ‘more character’ but fine to sleep in, especially for those without kids 😉 There’s also a very large dog kennel/wood box which I’m sure someone could kip in if they were desperate!
NB: This track is part of Te Araroa which means that you should expect others to be there. We somehow struck it lucky – helps to go out of TA season. There’s plenty of huts and space to camp, but good to be prepared. Also, we had very little issue with sandflies which was surprising. Good timing all around it seems but I’d expect them to be pretty bad there typically.
Visited by Wakelin and Clark families – October 2019.