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New Zealand hikesNew Zealand Leslie-Karamea Track Route Guide

Leslie-Karamea Track, in the heart of Kahurangi National Park, offers a remote experience. Linking Flora car park and the Wangapeka Track, it passes through the earthquake-torn Karamea Valley, following rivers through lush bush, and traversing saddles. Marks left by the earthquake include Moonstone Lake and various slips. Discover Leslie-Karamea Track, a top destinations for tramping and hiking track adventures - the Leslie - Karamea Track, Nelson, New Zealand.

Facts
Time 5 - 7 days
Distance 90 - 100 km One Way
Grade Medium
Highest Point
2000m, at several places 8 hour days bad weather
Huts 7 DOC Huts
Maps
 
Leslie - Karamea Track Route Guide

Leslie - Karamea track is approximately 90 km long. It may be walked from either end or in part, beginning at any number of access points (see Access).

Location
Distance
Times
Flora Car Park to Salisbury Lodge
14 km
4 hrs
Tablelands Signpost to Splugeons Shelter
4 km
1 -2 hrs
Splugeons Shelter to Karamea Bend Hut
8 km
3 hrs(4)
Leslie Clearing to Karamea Bend Hut
4 km
1-2 hrs
Karamea Bend to Crow Hut
10 km
2.5 hrs (3)
Karamea Bend to Roaring Lion
10 - 11 km
5 hrs
Crow Hut to Venus Hut
6 km
2 hrs
Venus Hut to Thor Hut
5.5 km
2 hrs
Thor Hut to Trevor Carter Hut
8 - 9 km
3.5 - 4 hrs

This route guide will describe the entire track in the following seven sections, beginning at Tablelands Signpost and ending at Trevor Carter in the south:

Travelling times given remain the same whether you walk north-south or the reverse. The total average travelling time for the Leslie Karamea Track is 17 hours in fine weather not adverse weather conditions.

 
Karamea Bend Track
Karamea Bend
Leslie Clearing
Leslie Clearing
Crow hut Swing bridge
Crow Hut Swingbridge
 
Flora Car Park to Salisbury Lodge
Approx: 14 km Walking Time 4 hours

From the Flora Car Park at the road end ( 36 km from Motueka), the track leads over Flora Saddle, past Flora Hut and up to Salisbury Lodge is the sign where the Leslie - Karamea Track itself begins

Hut: Salisbury Lodge; 24 bunks

 
Wainui Bay
Flora Signage
Gordons Pyramid
Gordons Pyramid
Tukurua Beach
Salisbury Lodge
 
Tablelands Signpost to Splugeons Shelter
Approx. 4 km. Walking time: 1 -2 hours

From the sign a line of poles runs to the bush edge at the top of the Leslie hill and begins descending to the Leslie River. About 1 hour downhill Splugeons Rock Shelter is reached

Huts: Splugeons Shelter: 8 bunks, open fire.

 
 
Splugeons Shelter View
Splugeons Shelter View
Splugeons Track View
Splugeons Track View
Tablelands Sign
Tablelands Sign
 
Splugeons Shelter to Karamea Bend Hut
Approx. 8 km Walking time: 3 - 4 hours

Beyond Splugeons Rock Shelter the track drops steeply to the Leslie and crosses it on a swingbridge. It then follows the true left bank down to Karamea Bend Hut

Huts: Karamea Bend Hut; 20 bunks; pot belly stove

 
Leslie Clearing Bridge
Leslie Clearing Bridge
Leslie River
Leslie River
Karamea Bend Hut
Karamea Bend Hut
 
Karamea Bend Hut to Crow Hut
Approx. 10 km. Walking time: 3 hours

Leslie Karamea track heads up the Karamea on the true right bank, crossing Slippery Creek and clearing, the Little Backwash and Big Backwash. Just over the Crow River swing briddge is Crow hut. When the Karamea is low, it is possible to follow the riverbed from Karamea Bend almost to the Crow.

Hut: Crow ; 6 bunks

 
Roaring Lion
Roaring Lion
Karamea River
Karamea River
Crow Hut
Crow Hut
 
Crow Hut to Venus Hut
Approx. 6 km. Walking time: 2 hours

Leslie - Karamea track continues on true right bank for about one hour to a bridge across the Karamea itself. Across on the left bank the track sometimes scrambles around the riverside but mostly stays on forested terraces alongside the river to Venus Hut

Hut: Venus; 12 bunks

 

Venus Track

Karamea River Venus Track

Venus Swingbridge
Venus Swingbridge
Venus Hut
Venus Hut
 
Venus Hut to Thor Hut
Approx. 5.5 km. Walking time: 2 hours

This section too follows the river terraces, sometimes merging with the riverside and riverbed. Mercury Creek, about 30 minutes above Venus Hut, is a major side stream spanned by a swingbridge. Near Atlas Creek the track hugs the cliffs abouve the river and is fairly narrow. Thor Hut is just across Thor Creek, on the edge of a slip caused by the 1929 Murchison Earthquake.

Hut: Thor ; 6 bunks ; back up option when Kendall Creek in flood

 
Thor Track
Thor Track
Thor Track Swingbridge
Thor Swingbridge
Thor Hut
Thor Hut
 
Thor Hut to Trevor Carter Hut
Approx. 8 - 9 km. Walking time: 4 hours

Upriver from Thor Hut the track climbs and makes a long sidle, crossing several earthquake - triggered slips where care is needed. One of these slips, which came down Apollo Creek from Mt Kendall (1762m), dammed the Karamea River forming Moonstone Lake. The lake backs up for almost 3 km and some of the trees drowned during its formation still stand as naked trunks. At the head of the lake continue on the true left of the Karamea to Kendall Creek, which divides into several streams near its mouth and is dangerous when in flood. The track rounds a granite spur and crosses a grassy flat to the old Trevor Carter Hut site. ( hut removed 2003). Cross the Swingbridge onto the true right of the Karamea River walk downstream for 15 minutes to Trevor Carter hut. When the Karamea River is running low, an alternative track (very boggy) is sign posted to Trevor Carter hut on the main track before reaching Kendall Creek.

Hut: Trevor Carter; 20 bunks

 
Trevor Carter Track
Trevor Carter Track
Trevor Carter Helicopter Rescue
Trevor Carter
Trevor Carter Hut
Trevor Carter Hut
 
Trevor Carter Hut to Wangapeka Track
Approx. 8 - 9 km. Walking time: 1.5 hours

There are several options, depending on the weather, river levels and fitness. The usual, and most direct, are up Lost Valley Creek or the Karamea itself: the former follows Lost Valley Creek up to a saddle and then drops back down to the Karamea, crossing it to Helicopter Flat ( Trevor Carter Hut to Helicopter Flat, 1.5 hours ). The latter follows true right of the Karamea, crossing below Saxon Falls and climbing to the Wangapeka Track at Tabernacle Lookout ( Trevor Carter Hut to the lookout, 1 hr) .

Alternatively, it is possible to join the Wangapeka Track at Taipo swingbirdge by following the true left bank of the Karamea ( swingbridge to Taipo Bridge 45 min) . In flood conditions this may be the only option.

Lastly, a marked route leads from Trevor Carter Hut over Biggs Tops, joining the Wangapeka Track at Wangapeka Saddle ( Trevor Carter Hut to Wangapeka Saddle, 5 hours)

 
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Further Information

DOC Nelson Regional Visitor Centre
Millers Acre Centre, Taha o te awa
79 Trafalgar Street
P O Box 375
Nelson
Phone +64 3 546 9339
Email: nelsonvc@doc.govt.nz

Web: www.doc.govt.nz

 

 

 
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