Nothing behind me, everything before me, as is ever so on the road. —Jack Kerouac
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
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 + see spoiler photos
Track Description: 4 - 5 day hike (we did it in 4 days)
Day 1: Muddy Creek (drop-off point) to Shelter Hut – Time: 6 - 8hrs / Distance: 19km (11.8mi)
Day 2: Shelter Rock Hut to Dart Hut – Time: 4 - 6hrs / Distance: 10km (6.2mi)
Day 3: Dart Hut to Daleys Flat Hut – Time: 5 - 7hrs / Distance: 18km (11.2mi)
Day 4: Daleys Flat Hut to Chinaman’s Carpark / Parking Lot – Time: 3.5 – 5.5hrs / Distance: 16km (9.9mi)
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 a Maps.me, Waze, or Google Maps route beforehand.
Organize before the 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
Daley's Flat Hut
3) Track transport- there are heaps of companies that operate from both ends of the track.
Aloha, my name is Jasmine.
I'm a freelance writer, editor, and content creator based out of Maui, Hawai'i, USA.
I travel the world, write, take photos, surf, and hike!