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South Island ▷ Nelson Region ▷ Motueka
I joined Bill and Maryanne owners of Bush and Beyond on their five day trip on the Heaphy Track in January 2010. It was a great experience walking on well defined paths through the rain forest, up onto the tussock highlands, and then down along the deserted beaches of The Tasman Sea. Each evening we stayed at one of the huts where reservations had been made by the tour operator far in advance. The huts were clean, roomy, and a nice escape from the weather. Far superior to cabins and huts I have experienced in America's National Forests. All the food was simple, but hearty and wholesome. Our guides were very congenial, knowledgeable, and fine companions. They carried the food, cooking gear, and safety equipment so our packs were light and the days easy. Bill and Maryanne provided much insight about the ecology, flora and fauna along the route, often taking time to show us small plants with magnifying glasses that were incredible when seen up close. The pricing structure was very fair and reasonable. As a sixty something adult I would feel that this trip was suitable for anyone in good health and open to a unique experience. Though I live a long distance away (United States) and the travel cost is great I would come again, and will try the Mt. Owens trip if I can.
Great knowledgeable guide on the geological phenomena of the area as well as the local flora and fauna. The DOC huts need a lot of attention as they really detract from the overall experience.