Fiordland Tramping Trip

Fiordland Tramping Trip

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This Expedition is for the very keen and experienced trampers. It provides a rare opportunity to complete a unique double. Tramp the Dusky Bay Track from Manapouri to Supper Cove and then join MV Strannik to explore Dusky Sound and then onto Preservation Inlet where you can walk to Puysegur Point lighthouse and explore the old gold mining relics of the area before walking the South Coast track back to Port Craig.

Note: Note: This is a tramp for experienced persons with a good standard of fitness and experience in route finding and alpine traverses. All participants will be asked to provide a brief resume detailing their experience prior to their booking being accepted. DoC do not maintain or promote either of these routes. You can expect severe and extreme weather events during the tramp, participants must be prepared for that with good quality equipment. (see suggested Mountain Safety gear list on our website).

This is not a “guided walk”, rather it is fully supported. We will have an experienced person to accompany you and assist with route finding and logistics. He/she will also carry Iridium phone for weather forecasts and emergency contact with Strannik if necessary. We will provide detailed maps and notes for the route. Participants are required to provide their own quality specialist equipment including tent, sleeping bag, cooker etc GPS and emergency locator beacon.

Trip Name
Fiordland Tramping Trip
Vessel Type: Small Ship Passenger Capacity: Up to 12 overnight in five cabins Lenght: 24 meters Built: 2017 Strannik is a Russian word translated as “Wanderer” or “Pilgrim”. Strannik is a person travelling in search of knowledge and wisdom. There is no better word nor way to describe our vessel, it has been born out of a natural curiosity and love of the natural world, history and travel.  It is designed, equipped and ready to explore the world and southern New Zealand. Cabins include private facilities with a bathroom including basin, toilet and shower. 8 passengers can comfortably fit within 4 twin/double cabins. Up to 12 passengers can be accomdated by prior agreement. Domestic comfort All cabins are fully insulated. Cruseair reverse-cycle systems throughout. Forced suction ventilation and fresh air seagoing vents and opening ports to all cabins. Opening hatches to most cabins. Spacious saloon and dining areas with great views. Each cabin has own entertainment docking station and screen, large theatre in saloon and music to all areas, reference library. Multiple fridge freezers, wine fridge, ice maker, full commercial laundry, garbage compactor, all electric commercial galley with Meile appliances. Navigation System A full double redundancy suite, featuring latest Simrad multinational navigational displays with dual range radars, high definition chart plotters, down scan and forward looking sonars, Satellite compass, Dual autopilots, and weather/climate monitoring instruments. The vessel is also fitted with CCTV and gyro stabilized Flir Night vision technology for added safety underway and on station. Communications System The latest Satellite communications with on-board Wi-Fi to all areas. Email and online connections. Satellite phone and data services Off shore with 4G cellular available in-shore for rapid streaming (location dependent), Long range HF SSB and VHF marine radios. Live online web based tracking system. Safety systems Full watertight compartments and double bottom throughout, automated Fire/smoke monitoring system to all compartments with bridge alarms. Comprehensive firefighting equipment and engine room Auto-fire flood system. All cabins with emergency exits and lighting. 2 x 20 man Solas life rafts, EPIRB’s, SART, Flares and personal emergency equipment including thermal protective aids, Solas approved life jackets and abandon ship supplies. Certified crew to assist and regular safety drills.


Day 1 - Day 1: Te Anau to West Arm Manapouri – Upper Spey Hut.
4 – 5 Hours Tramping. You will meet in Te Anau (time and place to be advised). Prior to going to Te Anau you will have couriered clothes and equipment not needed on this first leg of the trip to Strannik Ocean Voyages and these will be on board for you when you arrive in Dusky Sound. You will be transferred by Coach and Boat from Te Anau to West Arm Manapouri where you will start on the Dusky Bay Track. It is about a 45 min walk from West Arm to the start of the Dusky Bay Track. The track follows the true left of the river travelling through beech and ribbon wood forest to a three wire bridge across the Spey River. From there it is a relatively short walk across a swampy clearing to the upper Spey River Hut.
Day 2 - Day 2: Upper Spey Hut – Kintail Hut
5-7 hours From the hut the track climbs steeply through shrubland and then tussockland there are snow poles marking the route to the Centre Pass. From Centre Pass there are (on a good day) magnificent views over Gair Loch. The track descends steeply through herb fields to the true right of the Kintail stream. The track follows down the creek to the Seaforth River to the head of Gair Loch and the Kintail Hut.
Day 3 - Day 3: Kintail Hut to Loch Maree Hut.
6-8 HoursFrom the hut follow the track beside the Seaforth River to the southern end of Gair Lock. From here the track descends through a Gorge to the Kenneth Burn. The track becomes a little easier as it passes through several clearings on its way to Deadwood Creek. From Deadwood Creek the track follows the Seaforth River to the Loch Maree Hut. This section is rough underfoot and is prone to flooding.
Day 4 - Day 4: Loch Maree to Supper Cove (and Strannik)
6 – 8 Hours. The track descends from Loch Maree following the Seaforth River on the true right. The track is well marked but is no longer maintained by DoC so expect some windfalls along the way. At the bottom of the descent the track follows the “road” built by West Coast miners in 1903. It is muddy in places but good travelling. If the tides are right we will met you at the landing in the Seaforth River with zodiac. This will eliminate a rough section of track around the coast to the Supper Cove Hut which is on a small terrace south of the Hilda Burn. Once on board you will enjoy fresh scones, hot showers a sumptuous meal over a wine or a beer. Relax in the comfort of Strannik anchored up in a safe and sheltered anchorage.
Day 5 - Day 5: Dusky Sound
Enjoy a day cruising / exploring historic Dusky Sound. Capt Cook first visited here in 1773, his Journals and charts put the region on the world map and consequently there were many other visitors. The Maori where already there when Cook visited and they have a rich history as well. We visit a number of the site made famous by Cooks visit including Pickersgill Harbour, Indian Island, Luncheon Cove, Anchor Island, Cascade Cove and Facile Harbour. We also look at the work of early conservationists and explorers like Richard Henry and Andreas Reischek.
Day 6 - Day 6: Cruise Dusky Sound to Preservation Inlet
We cruise south today to Preservation Inlet, the southernmost Fiord, we pass West Cape, the western most point of NZ and also see the white cliffs of Chalky Island, marking the Inlet to Chalky (Fiord) Sound. We anchor tonight in a sheltered anchorage.
Day 7 - Day 7: Puysegur Point, Alpha Battery and the Morning Star Battery.
An all-day walk today to take in the highlights of the history of this Fiord. After breakfast we will land you at the Oil Store (Otago Retreat). The road/route to Puysguer Point Light house starts here. The road follows the coast for most of the way and there is some dramatic coastal scenery to enjoy. After visiting the lighthouse there is a track/route to Sealers Creek and the remains of the Alpha (Gold) stamping battery. Gold was discovered in Preservation Inlet in the 1880’s and there was a flurry of alluvial mining and four quartz stamping batteries were established. The Alpha Battery was the remotest. From the Alpha Battery we will descend pass the remains of the Morning Star Battery and will re-join Strannik at the site of the old township of Te Onera. This evening we pack for our overland trip to Port Craig. Gear/clothing not required on this tramp will be packed and left on board and we will courier it to you as soon as practical.
Day 8 - Day 8 – 15: Preservation Inlet overland to Port Craig and to Te Anau.
With the discovery of Gold in Preservation Inlet, many gold miners “rushed” to stake their claims in the hope of striking it rich. Not all could afford the boat fares from Bluff to the goldfields and others simply couldn’t wait and so they took off overland through the untracked wilderness. Later in 1908 a telephone line would be laid from Te Waewae Bay to Preservation Inlet and linesmen employed to maintain it. Remains of the telephone line can still be found today. Saw mills were established on the eastern boundary of this wilderness area in the early 1900’s and tramways were pushed west as far as the Waiaurahiri River. Today a track (the south coast track) goes as far as Big River. The land between Preservation Inlet and Big River is untracked and a challenge for keen and experienced trampers. The land is not high (highest point is Kakapo Hill at 495m) but the vegetation in places is dense and sometimes difficult to traverse. Successful route finding through this country is important, there is also some significant streams and rivers to cross and progress can be delayed by flooding. We will begin our traverse from Cromarty (old goldmining town), in Preservation Inlet by following the tramway to the Golden Site Battery in the Wilson River. From there it is overland via Kakapo Hill to the Big River where we will join the South Coast Track. There are no huts between Cromarty and Big River and we will be using tents but there are four huts between Big River and the road end at Rarakau Carpark in Te Waewae Bay. We have allowed a total of 8 days for the trip from Preservation Inlet to the road end that is generous but there could be delays due to weather, it also allows for some rest days. On the last day you will start early from the Port Craig Hut (the former Port Craig School). It is 20 kms (6-7 hours) walk along the coast to the Rarakau Carpark in Te Waewae Bay, where you will be met and transferred back to Te Anau where the trip finishes.
Day 9 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type


    • Hiking
    • Birding
    • Swimming
    • Kayaking
    • Birding
    • Photography
    • Botany, History
    • Cetacean watching