From the Archive: The Heaphy Track, New Zealand

Crossing Gouland Downs, The Heaphy Track, New Zealand. © www.thomaspickard.com

Crossing Gouland Downs, The Heaphy Track, New Zealand. © www.thomaspickard.com

The Heaphy Track is one of the many Great Walks that exist in New Zealand. Situated on the picturesque West Coast of the South Island, the track is named after a draughtsman for the New Zealand Company, Charles Heaphy.

Along with Thomas Brunner and Māori guide Kehu, the three are attributed as being the first Europeans to cross the coastal part of what would later become known as The Heaphy Track.

Today The Heaphy Track provides walkers and mountain bikers (winter only), with a fantastic diversity of landscapes - from the Nikau palm covered sand dunes and the pounding waves on the West Coast, to lush forests and the beautifully barren tussock grass plains of Gouland Downs (where this photo was taken).

If you are planning a trip to New Zealand and are heading into the backcountry (or the ‘hills’, as the locals say), make sure you are prepared:

Safety in the Outdoors, by the Department of Conservation