Nothing behind me, everything before me, as is ever so on the road.

- Jack Kerouac

Jasmine Ayla is a free-lance writer, traveler and amateur photographer based out of Maui, Hawaii, USA.

Rees Dart Track

Location: Mt. Aspiring National Park, Otago Region, South Island, New Zealand

Elevation: 1,461m (4,796ft)

Difficulty level: Advanced

Trail length: 63km (39.2mi)

Elevation gain: 1,153m (3,785ft)

Camping / Huts: Yes / Yes (scroll down for more info)

Date hiked: 2012

Topo map

This was was one helluva hike. On day 1, the first half is through pretty farmland.. watch out for cow pies, as well as some intense bogs and marshes. It’s anyone’s guess whether you will have more luck going down a well-marked track or off it - but you will get wet! ...Read more of my Rees Dart Track story

Track Description: 4 - 5 day hike (we did it in 4 days)

Day 1: Muddy Creek (drop-off point) to Shelter Hut – Time: 6-8 hrs. Distance: 19km

Day 2: Shelter Rock Hut to Dart Hut – Time: 4-6 hrs. Distance: 10km

Day 3: Dart Hut to Daleys Flat Hut – Time: 5-7 hrs. Distance: 18km

Day 4: Daleys Flat Hut to Chinaman’s Carpark – Time: 3 1/2 – 5 1/2 hrs. Distance: 16km


1. Prepare to have wet feet. If that means blisters for you, bring some extra socks and bandaids… (we were mostly fine though).

2. Be careful about getting stuck in bogs, extricate yourself with care. Making someone else go first is always a winner.

3. Do Not, I repeat Do Not forget your insect repellent – the one day you will seriously need it is at Daley’s Flat Hut – for some reason that place is covered in a cloud of sandflies which is a shame because it’s so pretty. 

4. Also, in case of emergency, or if you just want to experience the awesomeness of jet boat riding – check out the jetboat pickup options at Paradise, which is 2hrs along the track from Daley’s Hut on the 4th day.

5. Download the, Waze, or Google Maps route beforehand.


Organize before hike:                                                                                                                    

1) Fill out an Intentions Form at the DOC (Department of Conservation) in Queenstown. This is required, and if you miss returning on your specified date, someone besides your Mom will worry about you and hopefully arrange a rescue.

2) Buy hut passes through the DOC website – also required if you are camping – ($15-$30). You will need to buy three hut passes for this trek:

     Shelter Rock Hut

     Dart Hut

     Daley's Flat Hut

3) Track transport- there are heaps of companies that operate from both ends of the track.


Pack: Please see my Trusty Gear and Pack List pages!


Helpful Links:

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