Jet Boating across Lake Hauroko
There are times when the river is too low to access the Lodge by Jet Boat, so taking a Helicopter ride is sometimes more convenient. Dale Green, our Pilot who works for Fiordland Helicopters, has been taking guests and hunters to Waitutu Forest Lodge for many years. Dale pilots the helicopter with such precision to enable his passengers to see the very best of the south coast and Waitutu forest. It is a perfect way to take in the magnificence of the area.
The Helicopter leaves from Te Anau or Rarakau Carpark – and drops you off outside the Waitutu Forest Lodge a very short time later.
Phone 03 249 7575
TWO-DAY HIKE ALONG THE SOUTH COAST TRACK
If you are of medium fitness level, and don’t mind some back country mud on your feet, a two-day hike to Waitutu Forest Lodge can be done along DOC’s South Coast Track.
The South Coast track begins with an amble from the Rarakau car park, along an old road over several suspension bridges and past beachside batches. Passing the Hump Ridge Okaka Lodge turnoff, the track takes you past several beaches and headlands before arriving at the magnificent Blowholes Beach. Hector's dolphins are often seen all along this coastline.
The first day, is a reasonably easy walk to Port Craig School Hut. It's around 18km and takes approximately 7hrs. Stop over for the night.
From the hut, it is a further 15km (5-6hr) to Waitutu Lodge, passing DOC’s Wairaurahiri Hut on the way. This is an exciting section of the walk: trampers cross four historic wooden viaducts – remnants from days when the area was extensively logged and claimed to be the highest such viaducts in the Southern Hemisphere.
Last century the Wairaurahiri River formed a barrier to logging. So on the opposite bank to Wairaurahiri Hut is virgin forest with huge rata and rimu. David Bellamy described Waitutu as “probably the most important forest in the world”. After crossing the swing bridge you will see a sign welcoming you to Waitutu Forest Lodge.