The Southern Circuit track on Stewart Island is a remote, 71.5km loop trail that traverses the low-lying Freshwater and Rakeahua Valleys, then heads across to Doughboy and Mason Bay. This 4-6 day challenging tramp requires good fitness, route-finding skills and backcountry experience. During heavy rain flooding is likely in low lying areas and caution is required especially in the Rakeahua and Freshwater Valleys. Long sections of thick, knee-deep mud that can be found on the track regardless of the season.
The easiest way to start and finish the circuit is to arrange a water taxi drop-off and pick-up at Freshwater Landing, beside Freshwater Hut, which is where the loop starts. Other possible drop-off and pick-up points include Freds Camp or Rakeahua Hut. You can also walk to the start of the circuit from Oban along sections of the Rakiura Track and the North West Circuit, but this adds another 2-4 days to the trip.
Along the track 4 comfortable huts provide convenient accommodation and a few side trips lead to great viewpoints.
Please Note: Keep to the tracks as valleys are steep and the bush is dense. Beach access can be difficult when tides are high and seas are rough - if necessary, wait for low tide.
- Outdoor Activities
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- Walking & Tramping
- Sport & Outdoor