Hidden Valleys offers a two-day crossing over the alpine pass which is situated on the Main Divide of New Zealand, linking the Hopkins/Huxley Valleys to the less accessible Landsborough Wilderness Area. We spend the night at the Brodrick Hut in the Huxley Valley. The Brodrick Pass covers a range of terrain from beech forests and open river flats to rugged, snow-covered mountaintops.
This is definitely suited to New Zealanders who have a great level of fitness and a good appreciation of Kiwi terrain and changing weather conditions. For the off-shore client, you will be attracted by the fact that you will be walking off tracks and over rough, high mountainous terrain. You will therefore enjoy a high level of fitness.
We meet at Ohau Lodge. Many of our clients choose to stay here the night before as we meet mid-morning, before travelling one and a half hours by 4×4 up the Hopkins Valley to Monument Hut. This marks the start of our walk, so we do a last sort out of gear and enjoy lunch. The hike from here to the Brodrick Hut takes around four to five hours and at this point, the Brodrick Pass is in view – a somewhat intimidating aspect of the climb ahead the next morning.
The morning starts off with a two to three hour hike up onto the Main Divide, through Brodrick Pass and into the Landsborough catchment. We often choose to have lunch down in the creek that drains the large hanging basin. This gives views down into the Landsborough Valley.
The afternoon starts with a bit of a scramble up through some high alpine scrub to access the steep ridge. We then descend into the Landsborough Valley. This will take another two to three hours.
In the Landsborough Valley we rest, while waiting for the helicopter to fly us up to the top camp at Toetoe Flats where we stay in preparation for our rafting the following day. This is a great opportunity for us to fly out the hiking equipment that is no longer needed.
After a leisurely breakfast, we gear up and then commence our river adventure with a paddle of 5 kms. This is a good, scenic stretch of Grade 2 water, which provides the perfect warm up to the challenges that the gorge presents us with – but not until we’ve enjoyed a fabulous riverside lunch. Typically we’re off the river anytime after 3pm, which gives us plenty of time to enjoy the camp. There are many great swimming spots: you can take a stroll, or kick back over a well-deserved drink. As the day comes to a close, we’ll get the campfire going and serve up a great wilderness feast.
A picturesque float out gives us the opportunity to unwind and prepare for return to civilisation. In good weather conditions we have lunch on the way downstream. If the weather isn’t favourable, we’ll wait until we get back to the awaiting vehicles at the end of the river trip. We aim to be off the water lunchtime/early afternoon so you won’t be in a rush to your next destination.
Like many of our more rugged, New Zealand alpine adventures, this trip is weather dependent, and not for the faint hearted. You need to have a high standard of fitness, and be prepared to physically and mentally challenge yourself. Days are long and weather often extreme. Be prepared to embrace the challenges that living with the hills, living with yourself and nature presents.
For whitewater rafting sections of the trip, a reasonable standard of fitness and confidence in water is required, and a minimum age may apply.
We can arrange all aspects of your expedition, including all accommodation and travel before and after your trip. Hidden Valleys can arrange transport to Haast and return from the West Coast to your chosen destination. We are happy to recommend accommodation; please feel free to contact us with any queries.
Three Nights – Four Days
Adults = $1900 (fully guided), $1350 (self guided)
Children = Please enquire
The season runs from October to the beginning of April. Please enquire for more details as trips depend on water levels.