The Dusky Track

Land Tour

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Make this the year you experience one of New Zealand’s most rugged and remote tramping tracks (yep that's what they call trekking and hiking in New Zealand). Dusky Sound accessible only by air, boat or if you are game – on foot!. 

Our adventure starts with a truly remarkable flight across the mountains of Fiordland in a floatplane to land at the head of Dusky Sound. At over 40kms in length, it is one of Fiordlands largest and most complex fiords with many islands, coves and peninsulas making up the coastline. 

Setting foot ashore here we spend the next five days hiking through vast glacially carved valleys, ancient rainforest, across alpine tops past massive granite outcrops and pristine tarns before finally arriving at the mystical Lake Hauroko, the deepest lake in New Zealand.

Tour details Collapse
Tour Provider No Roads Expeditions
Number Of Days
Price From
Price per person, twin share
Start Location
Queenstown, New Zealand
End Location
Queenstown, New Zealand
Age Range
Avg. 35+
Group Size
3 to 5
Tour Style
Tour Themes
Physical Rating
Itinerary Expand all
Day 1: Arrive in Queenstown

Make your way to your Queenstown accommodation and rest up before the big trip

Day 2: Queenstown to Te Anau (B)

We will transfer you to Te Anau on a scheduled transfer service. In the evening we will meet with our guide for a pre-trek briefing and make sure what we have packed is appropriate. 

Overnight on the lake. 

Day 3: Te Anau to Loch Maree (via Supper Cove) 6-8hrs hiking (B,L,D)

One last chance to check gear this morning before we meet our pilot and aircraft for a 35-minute flight across the mountains to the head of Dusky Sound at ‘Supper Cove”. We will either fly by a *floatplane or helicopter depending on weather conditions and final group size. 

Both options are spectacular and offer an incredible overview of the vast wilderness of Fiordland’s vast forests, fiords and glaciated mountains. After landing and unloading packs we are left alone. The sense of place, tranquillity and anticipation of the adventure ahead will be profound! Time to contemplate what life would have been like for some of New Zealand’s earliest European settlers who arrived here as sealers. 

It is also bizarre to think that at this spot about 100 years ago 10 Canadian Moose were liberated in the hope that they would go forth and multiply and establish themselves as a big game animal in Fiordland. The last official sighting of one was in 1952, so keep your eyes peeled! 

Our route skirts around the head of the sound before heading inland following the original track cut by West Coast miners in 1903. This was part of an ambitious plan to build a road linking the Sound and Lake Manapouri, the track cutters only made it as far as Loch Maree before plans were abandoned. Loch Maree Hut sits on a terrace above the Seaforth River. 

Day 4 Loch Maree to Lake Roe 6-7hrs hiking (B,L,D)

A hearty breakfast is required today for the hardest day of the hike! After crossing the Seaforth River the route climbs steeply on to the aptly named “Pleasant Range”. The change in vegetation is dramatic as we gain over 1000 metres from the valley floor, emerging atop the ridge and well above the tree line. 

The views from here, on a clear day, are superb with wide expansive views over the Dusky Sound and outer islands. Time to enjoy the scenery and rest weary legs before wandering along the tussock covered range to Lake R and hut of the same name. 

We have allowed for a two-night stay here, that way we have time for an optional climb tomorrow of nearby peak Tamatea or a “rest day”.  

Day 5 Rest Day or Lake Roe-Tamatea Loop 5 hrs hiking (B,L,D)

A whole day to explore the surrounding landscape, rest or climb Mt Tamatea. 

This involves a steady climb to the crest of the range to the northeast of our hut. 

Tamatea is the Maori name given to both the waters (Dusky Sound) and the peak that rising proudly above. 

Day 6 Lake Roe to Hauroko Burn hut 8-10hrs hiking (B,L,D)

A relatively long day today but mostly downhill. 

From the hut, the track makes its way through granite outcrops to Furket pass, then descending through tussock, sub-alpine scrub and eventually into lush rainforest in the Hauroko valley. 

Keep an ear out for the screeching of New Zealand’s native bush parrot the ‘Kaka”. Along the way, we pass the appropriately named “Halfway hut” before reaching Lake Hauroko late in the day. 

A comfortable hut sits overlooking the lake. At 462metres, Hauroko is the deepest lake in New Zealand, and also home to some very big eels that you may meet should you go for a swim! 

We celebrate the completion of the hike with a fine backcountry meal. 

Day 7 Lake Hauroko to Queenstown (B,L)

Lake Hauroko marks the end of our journey by foot. 

After a leisurely breakfast, we rendezvous with the boat (just a stone's throw from the hut) for the cruise across the lake. 

Ringed by dense rainforest and jagged mountains on all sides, Hauroko is one of New Zealand's most beautiful and pristine lakes. 

An island within the lake, is home to an entombed princess, believed to have been put there in the 17th century. A local deer hunter discovered her body about 50 years ago and today her location is protected. 

After disembarking from the boat we are transferred back to Te Anau and on to Queenstown where our adventure ends. 

Day 8: Departure / Journey Onward (B)

Our trek concluded, you're free to travel on to yournext destination 

Inclusions Expand
Five days guided trek with an experienced guide, All accommodation including nights before and after the expedition in Queenstown, All breakfast, lunches and dinners as per itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner), Floatplane or helicopter to Dusky Sound, All transfers

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