FITNESS DISTANCE/DIFFICULTY

A medium level of fitness is required to walk the Island Hills Station Track. The majority of the track is well graded, but there are a few challenging short ascents and descents, plus uneven surfaces and narrow sections in parts. The 3 day walk allows you to take your time, while the 2 day version is for those with a little less time and a little more fitness.  

Throughout the season there will be some cold, rainy and some extremely hot conditions so please ensure you and your group are prepared for all weather, as conditions may be very changeable.

We provide a pack/gear carrying service as it makes your walk a lot safer, easier and more enjoyable. You will only need to carry a day pack.

The track is not recommended for young children.

FITNESS DISTANCE DIFFICULTY

The track covers almost 30km over 2-3 days. The season is from October until mid March and is limited to 10 per group.

Day One 11km 4-6 hours
Difficulty: an easy wide trail to start, leading into some areas of narrow trail with rough uneven surfaces. Care with with footing must be taken.

After the 8:30am departure from the Cook House accommodation and car park you will be delivered to the start point of the walking trail via a 20 minute 4 wheel drive farm tour. The trail initially follows the flat terraces above the banks of the meandering Mandamus river along stock and 4 wheel drive access tracks. After the rockwall foot bridge the track continues into native forest with a few ups and downs above the river gorges, eventually climbing out into open grassy knolls with open views into the big mountain surroundings. You will then follow a historic pack track down into the Organ River to the Valley Camp Huts. For those that want to keep it really cruisy on the first day there are two early exit points to the Valley Camp Huts.

 

Day Two 9km 4-6 hours
Difficulty: expect rough, uneven ground. Care with footing must be taken.

The second day follows the foothills through belts of native manuka, regenerating beech forest and sub-alpine ridges. There are many small sections of uphill as it climbs and descends over the spurs for 9km to your final night at the Bush Hut.

 

Day Three 9.5km 3-4 hours
Difficulty: mainly easy walking.

Day three is a very enjoyable easy walk that covers 9.5km through native bush and over high country farmland. You should arrive back at your parked vehicle at the Cook House around lunch time and expect to see your packs arriving by 1pm.

For those choosing the two day walk, days two and three are combined, making for an 18.5km walk over 7-9 hours.

 

Island Hills Station
5.0
Based on 13 reviews
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Melissa Jessen
Melissa Jessen
08:27 21 May 21
Had an amazing guided hunting trip with Shaun, in the breath taking island hills. Shot my 1st south island red deer and... red stag. Shaun is a great guide, making you feel comfortable whether you are a beginner or seasoned hunter 👌 definitely want to go back again. A must do!read more
Kate Daellenbach
Kate Daellenbach
02:05 30 Jan 21
Beautiful place and a lovely walk. We did the two-day version, when our original tramping plans were scuttled by... shocking weather. They were able to accomodate us last minute. It still felt like a tramp - some nice little hills in there to get the heart rate up. Stunning, stunning views, some company in the form of cows (all very chilled out), and friendly informative hosts in Shaun and Hayley. Thank you Shaun and Hayley, and to the Shand family for sharing their bit of paradise. (PS. When you do this walk, plan to have a shower at the Valley Lodge!).read more
Julie Nixon
Julie Nixon
03:00 04 Jan 21
Thoroughly enjoyed our recent three day trek. Some good challenges along a well designed track that saw us enjoy... wonderful views along the way. Huts were a welcome sight at the end of each day. Great amenities and well stocked. Loved the pack cartage each day and walking with a day pack. Very well organised and Shaun makes you feel at ease out on the trail knowing there’s daily check ins at the huts and weather forecasts each night. Recommended to those wanting to visit our great outdoors and away from busy crowded tracks.read more
Ray Fabish
Ray Fabish
05:34 23 Nov 20
We had a fantastic time. Shaun was professional, friendly, and faultless in the way he set us and the experience up.... The huts and showers have to be experienced to be believed. Would highly recommended to anyone who has a medium or better fitness levelread more
Christine Gabrielle
Christine Gabrielle
10:58 28 Oct 20
Highly recommend this guided trip-Kiwi value non-stop and memories forever.! You will learn things you did not know... about the NZ bush and wildlife and have such a better experience of the land!! Just carry a daypack and enjoy every minute. Super clean historic huts, toilets, showers (hot at every stop!!) Really well-organized..Plus awesome meals, wildfoods, treats and surprises-don't miss out! This one is a MUST DO even for experienced trampers-over gorgeous country with the Best Guide Ever (you can find the track yourself but you will miss half the experience without Shaun Monk with you!)--book it- you will NOT regret it. Plus if you're into hunting, teaching your kids to hunt-he is your man. Super thumbs up all around!???‍????????⛰???‍♂️read more
Dave & Lisa Anderson
Dave & Lisa Anderson
21:38 09 Oct 20
Had a wonderful trip during the school holidays with the children (aged 9 and 10). Fantastic track, great way to see... our own back yard. Beautiful native bush, birds, and wildlife. Make sure you take the time to check out the glowworms and have a go at catching some pests (the children were stoked to catch a possum). Totally recommend.read more
Johannes Schulz
Johannes Schulz
09:24 28 Jun 20
Well, how to even start?This place resembles a tranquil and simultaneously wild area. Mountains, Manuka trees, rivers... - even mighty stags can be spotted. Beside the natural beauty of the Island Hills Station area, the hospitality and service of the owners leave nothing to be desired. Here I had my fist hunting experiences, extended walks through a natural paradise and a cozy resting place in the lonely huts that are provided.I can only recommend this place for anyone who seeks a close up encounter with New Zealand, its people and natural beauty, while having an andventurous blast for a lifetime.read more
Victoria Alexander
Victoria Alexander
04:49 23 Jun 20
What a way to rejuvenate! Island Hills truly has it all; well-equipped comfortable huts, diverse and interesting... walking options for every level of fitness and knowledgeable, enthusiastic, down-to-earth hosts. An adventure not to be missed.read more
Esther Riess
Esther Riess
01:01 22 May 20
You can truly call this place a piece of paradise! This is the first place in NZ I felt very sad to leave behind. Had... my first hunting experience and the walking tracks are something else! It’s a once in a lifetime experience. If cabins, outdoor wood heated baths under stars, mountains and hunting sound intriguing. Don’t miss out!read more
Arian Gaedke
Arian Gaedke
01:31 03 Mar 20
First hunt in New ZealandI come from Germany, hunting in Germany and New Zealand is very different. It was a great... challenge to hike and hunt in the mountains.It was very interesting to learn so many new things about nautur in New Zealand. Shaun taught me a lot of great tips for camping and survival in the bush or in the mountains.The trip was an exciting new experience for me.read more
Haley Lloyd
Haley Lloyd
08:31 27 Nov 19
Such a beautiful place and the Bush Hut was amazing. The hosts were very down to earth and knowledgeable. A real off... grid kiwi back country experience.read more
Next Reviews

When you are dropped off at the beginning of the track on the first day the track ranger will give you a history of the farm, conservation projects and the surrounding area.

Island Hills Station is a working sheep, cattle and honey farm with it’s own protected conservation reserve.

Fully Equipped Huts

Fully Equipped Huts

No WiFi or coverage

No WiFi or coverage

BBQ's at Each Hut

BBQ's at Each Hut

Outdoor Hot-tub

Outdoor Hot-tub

ECO TOILETS

ECO TOILETS

HOT Shower's

HOT Shower's

Bush Hut

Bush Hut is the third night accommodation a wonderful forest setting and a real step back in time. Situated in the middle of one of the biggest QEII conservation covenants in the country.

 

Valley Camp

Valley Camp at the Island Hills

The Valley Camp Hut was built for pest control and mustering and now gives you the chance to spend your second evening in the heart of the high country.

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Our Address

Island Hills, 1612 Tekoa Road, Culverden 7392

Contact Us

TEL: 0224 640 140
E-MAIL: shaun@islandhillsstation.com

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