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Stewart Island Wilderness Tramps

Trip code: SI2022/3
Expedition Rating: Extreme Travel
Leaving: 23 Dec 2022 Starts: Oban, Stewart Island
Returning: 01 Jan 2023 Ends: Oban, Stewart Island

Hiking, Birding, Swimming , Kayaking , Birding, Photography, Botany, History, Cetacean watching

The Tin Range provides an overland route to Port Pegasus on southern Stewart Island.  It was used extensively by the tin miners in the early 1900’s. The route which was once well marked has not been maintained and the one hut or bivi  on the route has fallen into disrepair. Despite this it remains one of the “must do” NZ tramping trips for the serious and experienced tramper.  This expedition makes it happen with the added bonus of extra days to explore Port Pegasus. 


Note 1: This is a tramp for experienced persons with a reasonable standard of fitness and experience in route finding and alpine traverses. DoC do not maintain or promote this route and it does not show on LINZ Topo 50 maps.  The Manuka and Olearia (leatherwood) is difficult and can be physically demanding.  The alpine tops are exposed to the severe “Roaring Forties” winds, rain and fog. All participants are required to provide their own quality specialist equipment including tent, sleeping bag, cooker etc GPS and emergency locator beacon.  (see suggested Mountain Safety gear list on our website)

Note 2:  This is not a “guided walk”, rather it is fully supported.  We will have an experienced person to accompany you and assist with route finding and logistics. He/she will also carry Iridium phone for weather forecasts and emergency contact with Strannik if necessary. We will provide detailed maps and notes for the route. 


Day 1

Met together in Oban (Stewart Island). You will be transferred by zodiac to Strannik. You will be introduced to the crew and the vessel. After lunch there will be a detailed briefings and instructions for the tramp. Also a chance to stow dry clothes, spare equipment etc etc that you don’t want on the tramp but would like on arrival in Port Pegasus.  You will select and pack your food for the tramp from our on board supplies, also a chance to double check equipment.  You will stay overnight on board.  


Day 2 

This morning after breakfast we will cruise up Paterson Inlet and  we will land you at Freds Camp  where the tramp starts. You will travel up the Rakeahua Valley to the Rakeahua Hut where you will stay overnight, it is a relatively easy (but muddy) well defined track through some great podocarp forest.   Est. 5 hours tramping.


Note:  The estimated distance from Rakeahau Hut to Port Pegasus is … we have allowed 3 days for this trip but it could be done in 2 days depending on the weather conditions and the interests and fitness of the group. 


Day 3

Today we will climb from Rakeahau Hut to Table hill a 700 metre climb that starts a couple kilometres west of the hut.  The climb takes you through podocarp forest into some heavier Manuka / Olearia scrub. There is the vague remnants of a track/route with occasional marker especially in the lower valley but towards the tops it becomes a “scrub bash” to the bush line at 500 metres.  DoC researchers sometimes use this route to study the southern population of the NZ Dotterel that breeds here.  Depending on our progress and the weather we will look for a suitable campsite here or push on towards the Kopeka River. 


Day  4

From Campsite we will continue south towards Port Pegasus. There are the occasional snow pole markers to the top of Table Hill and after that there are semi-regular markers (short lengths of Olearia pushed into the peat bogs and the occasional rocks that have been made into cairns) marking the route.  We plan to travel via the eastern slopes of Mt Allen (the highest peak on the Tin Range) and the Mt Allen tarn where there is a reasonable campsite for our second night. 


Day 5

We plan to complete the traverse of the Tin Range today. From Mt Allen we continue south towards trig D at the southern end of the Tin Range. Again route finding will be critical as it is not well marked.    Depending on the weather and the time available we will explore the relics from the tin mining era. There is an impressive adit and a dam  near the summit of trig D. This is also the area where Kakapo were rediscovered in January 1976.  We will descend to Diprose Bay in Port Pegasus along the tramway which was built for a tin mining consortium in the early 1900’s.  We will rendezvous with Strannik here.  We enjoy hot showers and clean clothes.


Day 6

We continue our exploration of the Port Pegasus region with a day trip to the impressive granite peaks of Gog and Magog (Fraser Peaks) It is a full day trip from Evening Cove, but depending on the tide times we may be able to shortened that by taking the zodiacs up Cooks Arm.  We return to Strannik for the night and stay overnight on board.    


Day 7

This morning we plan to climb Bald Cone……. asl  a dominant  Granite knob at the south end of Port Pegasus. There is a recognised route up the south side and there are even some fixed ropes (probably not a good idea to rely on these) to the summit from where there are great views over Port Pegasus. Back on board for lunch and then this afternoon we plan to walk through to “The Settlement” in Broad Bay. It is an easy 40min walk (one way) some stunning podocarp forest with a golden sand beach at the end. There are often Sealions on this beach.  Overnight on Strannik. 



Day 8

We plan to depart Port Pegasus early this morning for the Lords River where we will explore the river by Zodiac. The rivers winds for many miles through some magnificent podocarp forest.  Navigation is stopped by a waterfall  and nearby there is a hunters camp as this is a popular hunting block.  There is also a shorter walk from near the anchorage to the coast and some spectacular scenery.  We stay overnight on Strannik 


Day 9

We will anchor in Port Adventure and spend the day exploring the area both on foot and by zodiac. The Heron River that flows into the Port is navigable up as far as some rapids. There is also some great beaches and the possibility of some shorter walks  



Day 10

Disembark at Oban continue your Stewart Island adventure or return home.


$3570.00 NZDpp
Price Includes:

All meals both on Strannik and the food  required for trmping is provided.   Accommodation on board Strannik (6 nights), remainder in tents. Complimentary wine and soft drinks (limited selection available), Internet access for Email if required while on board.

Trip Info

Private expedition

Please contact Rodney Russ for more information

Trip Map

Map for trip: Stewart Island Wilderness Tramps

Book Trip

This trip is waitlisted, please contact strannik for more information.