Rakiura Track, Stewart Island

#6 of 13 in Outdoors in Stewart Island
Hiking Trail · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
The Rakiura Track is a 32-kilometre (20 mi) circular tramping track in Rakiura National Park on Stewart Island in New Zealand. It is one of the New Zealand Great Walks. Hikers often take three days to walk it, but it can be done in one or two days.

One end is at Lee Bay, 5 km north of Oban (Stewart Island's only settlement), and the other end is at Fern Gully, 2 km west of Oban. It can be walked either way, but is most often walked anticlockwise, starting at Lee Bay. Hikers can arrange transport from Oban over the roads to and from the ends of the track, or can walk along the roads.

The track generally follows the coastline for a large part of its length, passing small inlets, large bays and mudflats, and crosses steep hills covered in bush (dense forest) in its middle section. Large sections of the track have been gravelled. Without this, much of the track would degrade into mud, due to the peaty soil, and the rain that falls frequently throughout the year. In general, the track is well-maintained, and of easy to medium difficulty. Walking the track offers the unusual opportunity to see kiwi in the wild. The species on Stewart Island is the southern brown kiwi (Apteryx australis).

There are two huts on the track, at Port William and the North Arm of Paterson Inlet, and many hikers sleep overnight at each. There are also campsites at Maori Beach, Port William and North Arm. The huts and campsites have toilets and water supply, and the huts have bunks and mattresses. Toilet paper is not provided and hikers must bring their own. There are no cooking facilities, so trampers are advised to carry their own stoves and cooking equipment. Gas canisters and other supplies can be purchased at a store in Oban before setting out. The huts are supplied with firewood, which is flown in by helicopter, as there are no roads to the huts, and trampers are not allowed to cut firewood. The huts and campsites must be booked in advance.

Rakiura Track has been covered by Google Street View since November 2015.
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Rakiura Track reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
75 reviews
  • I did the Lee Bay to Port William Hut section, staying overnight in the hut, then returning the next day. The track is in great condition with no mud to worry about. The track is well sign-posted and....  more »
  • Initially we decided to do the 3 day Rakiura track, but with heavy rain and wind the previous day, decided against it. In hind sight, this turned out to be a good decision. On the first day, we took.....  more »
  • Comfortable way to do a great walk. Stunning views, well maintained track. Not so busy as other great walks. Many sand beaches even better as the Golden Bay near Picton. Highly recommended even for a daily trip. Bring enough water and a great sense of romanticism with you. One of many highlights in Aotearoa.
  • Fantastic family friendly track ... beautiful forest, amazing beaches.. reccomend walking north arm then to port William
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