Leslie Karamea Track Trampers Transport
Leslie Karamea Track Trampers Transport

 

Leslie Karamea Track
Kahurangi National Park

There are eleven DOC Huts to be found along the track, which ones you stay in is entirely dependant upon the route you choose and the pace you set. Its a great fishing river, and the karamea especially has trout that size well beyond that of small whales.. sometimes several to a pool. Not that easy to catch though (I should know!!).

Transport Nelson to Flora Saddle
Approximate time: 1 hr 20 min with Trek Express (e-mail)

Transport Nelson to Rolling River Junction
Approximate time: 1 hr 50 min with Trek Express (e-mail)

Transport Nelson to Wangapeka Road, Little Wanganui.
Approximate time: 4 hr 45 min with Trek Express (e-mail)

Leslie Karamea Track description

Flora Saddle to Wangapeka Road, Little Wanganui.
Distance: 91 km
Approximate Time: 6 to 7 days

Flora Saddle to Rolling River JunctionDistance: 86 km
Approximate Time: 6 to 7 days>

Flora Saddle Hut to Mt Arthur hut
Approximate time: 1.5 hours

Flora Saddle Hut, with 12 bunks and heating, is located only 30 minutes walk away from the carpark. Its a good place to sleep if you've gotten a late start, but it can also serve as a good base from which to climb the Mt Arthur summit. The track up is gradual at first, becoming steeper as you near the ridge to the top. Snow can be found near the top many times of the year.
Alternatively, trampers could hike from the car park to Mt Arthur Hut and use it as a base from which to summit the mountain. Mt Arthur Hut is small, only 8 bunks, so it pays to claim your bed early on. It has heating facilities.

Flora Saddle Hut to Salisbury Lodge
Approximate time: 4 to 5 hours

The flora hut is only 20 minutes from the car park along a wide track that was origionally built for vehicles and driving the herds of cattle up to the Tablelands uptil the 70's. Its closed off now, except for DOC and a hardy bunch of volunteers called the Friends of the Flora who have succesfully exterminated (and were the forerunners in an experiment) the stoats, rats and possums. Their success, shared with DOC, have turned around the bird population which is now thriving, including recently Blue Duck. The track continues fpr quite awhile before becoming a moderate path in mountain beech. Gridron shelter is one of the best places to stop for lunch, or even a night under an overhanging rock. Apparantly there's a small hut just above the shelter, acccess by track just before you find the shelter. I have yet to find it! After awhile the path leads out onto the open plains of the Tablelands, a great viwe of Gordons Pyramid (knob), and eventullay salisbury Lodge nestelled on the flats.

Mt. Arthur Hut to Salisbury Lodge via the tops
Approximate time: 6 to 8 hours

An interesting trek involving many ups and downs, this will take you along the Ridge and to the top of Gordon's Pyramid. The turn off is about an hour or so along the ridge and is well marked. The ascent of Mt. Arthur is there for the taking and not difficult provided the conditions are right. The turn off to Ellis basin is on the left before the scramble up to the peak. The descent to Ellis basin is quite steep. The way along to Gordon's Pyramid is poled and moderately easy in good weather. However, wind can be so extreme that one cannot stand and fog thick as porridge. Snow, or cold weather anytime of year. Being karst (limestone), there are many potholes (sinkholes) along the route. Once down from the knob and levelling off as you near the bush around the lodge.
Salisbury Lodge is very popular, with interesting day trips to be had, namely cave hunting. It can hold 22 trampers and has gas cookers as well as heating facilities. Balloon hut is less than an hour away.

Cobb Reservoir to Balloon Hut
Approximate time: 2 hrs 30 mins

Salisbury Lodge to Karamea Bend hut
Approximate time: 5 to 7 hours

Karamea Bend hut to Crow Hut
Approximate time: 3 hours

Karamea Bend hut to Roaring Lion Hut (option)
Approximate time: 3 hours

This track does not officially exist, and neither does the hut as its bordering the true wilderness area. Follow true right and cross river only if accessible at low levels (much easier option, but only safe at low water levels). Otherwise keep bush bashing over the bluffs on true right. Hairy work indeed, and dangerous to boot. Finally, after being resuscitated several times from near exhaustion, keep an eye out for a barrel in a tree, or triangle, on right of a plain (guessing 7-10 kms down river). Its the marker for a track that leads to the hut a half hour away through beech forest.

to Crow Hut to Venus Hut
Approximate time: 2 to 3 hours

Venus Hut to Thor Hut
Approximate time: 2 hours

Thor Hut to Trevor Carter Hut
Approximate time: 3 hours

From Trevor Carter one has three options:

Trevor Carter Hut to Taipo Hut
Approximate time: 4 hours

Trevor Carter Hut to Helicopter Flat (Lost Valley)
Approximate time: 2 hours

Trevor Carter Hut to Stone Hut (Via Biggs Tops)
Approximate time: 5 to 7 hours

To view the description of remaining part of the tramp, whether to Rolling River Junction or the west coast, click here Wangapeka track.

Helicopter Flat to Stone Hut
Approximate time: 4 hours

Stone Hut to Cecil King
Approximate time: 4 hours

Cecil King to Rolling River Junction
Approximate time: 4.5 hours

  • Note
  • Warning! There are several creeks that feed into the Karamea and the Wangapeka rivers. If there has been a heavy overnight rain and it continues, then the creeks may be impassable. If you cannot see the creek bottom then dont cross. If it stops raining, try after a few hours.. they go down as quickly as they come up. The worst area is from Venus hut to Thor to Trevor Carter. Biggs Tops route and Lost valley also easily flood and are dangerous in bad weather (I have heard many a woeful tale, and indeed was rained in there myself a couple of days). Its also steep and hard work to get to the ridge of Biggs Top, but a view you'll never forget! There are also quite a few slips to navigate. DOC class this tramp as difficult, though I would class it moderate in good weather, but definitely caution and common sense needed especially in bad weather.

    Weather Update Weather forecast for Nelson next 5 days.

    What to take Ideas on what to pack for the tramp (My packing list!)

    Track update by DOC.

    Existing & Budget trips If you want to combine on an existing trip (for singles and couples).

    [- Track Descriptions -]