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5 Day Travers Sabine Wilderness

Days
5

Pricing From
$2095

Difficulty

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Overview

Our 5 day guided hike on the Travers Sabine Circuit Wilderness Hike in Nelson Lakes National Park is an all inclusive package - starting and returning to Nelson. After departing Nelson we start the walk after a brief water taxi ride up lake Rotoiti and finish  5 days later at the head of Lake Rotoroa.

We stay each night in Department of Conservation huts where your guides prepare a fantastic gourmet meal. These huts cannot be booked as this is a backcountry circuit so we travel with tent fly's and sleeping mats just in case the huts are full.

We have become known as the gourmet guided walk company, not only because of the high standard of food that is presented, (we cater for all dietary requirements) but also the personal, relaxed and friendly style of trips we orchestrate, with an emphasis on your comfort and enjoyment of the experience. Whether it is information on the flora and fauna, conservation gems along the way or just the great company of your group and guides.

Tour Grading: D

  • This trek is for active trampers - age is no barrier but it is a challenging five-day walk.
  • The accommodation is Department of Conservation huts - these are comfortable but must be shared with other walkers.
  • Guests must carry their own pack containing clothing, bedding and some group food or equipment.
  • Guides carry most of the food and cooking utensils.

East Sabine Valley from the Traverse Saddle - Peter Kemp, Nelson Lakes Shuttles

Nelson Lakes National Park

Don't feed the Kea's Nelson Lakes National Park

Drowned Trees Nelson Lakes National Park

Snow Gentians Nelson Lakes National Park

Upper Traverse Hut Nelson Lakes National Park

West Sabine Hut Nelson Lakes National Park

Nelson Lakes National Park

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Lakehead to John Tait Hut5 hours Hiking

Pick up at accommodation in Nelson and transfer to St Arnaud and Nelson Lakes National Park. Briefing and final gear check is done the night before departure at 6pm in the Rutherford Hotel A water taxi will transfer us to the southern end of Lake Rotoiti and we begin walking on the river flats of the lower Travers Valley.

We follow the track through forest and clearings until reaching the Travers Swing Bridge. The valley soon narrows with glimpses of Mt Travers as the track nears Hopeless Creek. The track gradually climbs through beech forest until John Tait Hut (30 bunks) is reached on a grassy clearing.

Day 2John Tait Hut to Travers Hut4 hours Hiking

The track continues to climb for a km until we pass a sidetrack to the Travers Falls. The 20 metre falls drop into a sparkling clear pool and are well worth the visit. From the falls, we continue onward towards our destination - the 16-bunk Upper Travers Hut.

The track climbs steeply to Cupola Creek chasm, leaving the river in its gorge below. Finally the track emerges from the trees on to an extensive, tussock-covered flat where Upper Travers Hut nestles beneath the east face of Mt Travers.

Day 3Upper Travers Hut to West Sabine Hut6-9 hours Hiking

Travers Saddle is an alpine pass and today we cross this stunning divide. Cross the Travers River near the hut and follow the snow poles through dense alpine shrubs. Leaving the boulder-strewn valley, the route steepens and zigzags up a scree slope before continuing more gently to the saddle with panoramic views.

From the saddle (1787m), the descent is steep, crossing tussock and scree, through stunted beech forest before emerging into a gully. Descend to the valley floor and head to West Sabine Hut (35 bunks).

Day 4Rest Day or Optional Side Walk to Blue Lake7 hours Hiking

This is a worthwhile day walk from the main circuit. Head upstream from West Sabine swing bridge. After two hours, the valley broadens and the track passes through forest destroyed by an avalanche in 1980. Climb steeply in two stages to a high basin containing the enchanting Blue Lake. Return to West Sabine Hut for the evening.

Day 5West Sabine Hut to Sabine Hut5 hours Hiking

Our final leg! Cross the West Sabine River on a swing bridge and turn right. The track sidles down the valley following the river and crosses three long, open flats. Leave the river behind where it enters a gorge in the lower valley, climbing then descending to rejoin the river. From here is easy walking to Sabine Hut on the edge of Lake Rotoroa.

We will be collected by water taxi to transfer down the lake and return by van to Nelson and your Nelson accommodation at about 5pm.

Cost per person
November 2021 - March 2022

  • NZ$2,095

Deposit: NZ$300 per person

Balance payable at least 30 days prior to departure

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Lakehead to John Tait Hut5 hours Hiking

Pick up at accommodation in Nelson and transfer to St Arnaud and Nelson Lakes National Park. Briefing and final gear check is done the night before departure at 6pm in the Rutherford Hotel A water taxi will transfer us to the southern end of Lake Rotoiti and we begin walking on the river flats of the lower Travers Valley.

We follow the track through forest and clearings until reaching the Travers Swing Bridge. The valley soon narrows with glimpses of Mt Travers as the track nears Hopeless Creek. The track gradually climbs through beech forest until John Tait Hut (30 bunks) is reached on a grassy clearing.

Day 2John Tait Hut to Travers Hut4 hours Hiking

The track continues to climb for a km until we pass a sidetrack to the Travers Falls. The 20 metre falls drop into a sparkling clear pool and are well worth the visit. From the falls, we continue onward towards our destination - the 16-bunk Upper Travers Hut.

The track climbs steeply to Cupola Creek chasm, leaving the river in its gorge below. Finally the track emerges from the trees on to an extensive, tussock-covered flat where Upper Travers Hut nestles beneath the east face of Mt Travers.

Day 3Upper Travers Hut to West Sabine Hut6-9 hours Hiking

Travers Saddle is an alpine pass and today we cross this stunning divide. Cross the Travers River near the hut and follow the snow poles through dense alpine shrubs. Leaving the boulder-strewn valley, the route steepens and zigzags up a scree slope before continuing more gently to the saddle with panoramic views.

From the saddle (1787m), the descent is steep, crossing tussock and scree, through stunted beech forest before emerging into a gully. Descend to the valley floor and head to West Sabine Hut (35 bunks).

Day 4Rest Day or Optional Side Walk to Blue Lake7 hours Hiking

This is a worthwhile day walk from the main circuit. Head upstream from West Sabine swing bridge. After two hours, the valley broadens and the track passes through forest destroyed by an avalanche in 1980. Climb steeply in two stages to a high basin containing the enchanting Blue Lake. Return to West Sabine Hut for the evening.

Day 5West Sabine Hut to Sabine Hut5 hours Hiking

Our final leg! Cross the West Sabine River on a swing bridge and turn right. The track sidles down the valley following the river and crosses three long, open flats. Leave the river behind where it enters a gorge in the lower valley, climbing then descending to rejoin the river. From here is easy walking to Sabine Hut on the edge of Lake Rotoroa.

We will be collected by water taxi to transfer down the lake and return by van to Nelson and your Nelson accommodation at about 5pm.

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