The Old Ghost Road
This track tells so many stories. The gold rush settlements of bustling hotels and horse-filled roads are now regenerated as native beech forest. The dream to build this path, that for over 100 years only existed on a map, was realised with the opening in December 2015. Trail blazing through this powerful and majestic land, demanded vast brain and muscle power. This track takes us on an 85km journey through ancient, mossy forests, spacious alpine tops and pristine water courses.
Slightly more challenging than the Heaphy Track yet easier than our Nelson Lakes guided walks, this is the perfect progression between the two for returning customers, or a great first guided walk for those who want a little more adventure.
Why not join Southern Wilderness for the trip of a lifetime on the Old Ghost Road
Day One – Nelson to Lyell Saddle Hut, 18km, 4-6 hours.
Our first day starts with an early pick up from your selected Nelson accommodation and travelling to the Lyell historic reserve at the beginning of the track for our final briefing and a mid-morning start. The track climbs gradually on an easy gradient through podocarp and beech forest to reach the Lyell Saddle (885m above sea level). On the way we will pass many fascinating historic sites, remnants from the gold rush in the late 1800s. When we reach Lyell Saddle Hut you can settle in while your delectable dinner is prepared.
Day Two – Lyell Saddle Hut to Ghost Lake Hut, 12km, 3-5 hours.
Continuing our gentle climb through the forest we notice the tree trunks becoming thick and gnarled until we burst out of the bushline into the alpine section of the track, where the expansive views are a feast for the eyes. As today is a shorter walk we will be spending lots of time exploring the enchanting tops. During our gentle descent to Ghost Lake Hut we cross under the highest point in the Lyell Range. At 1459m, Rocky Tor leaves you with a powerful impression.
Day Three – Ghost Lake Hut to Stern Valley Hut, 13km, 3-4 hours.
Today begins with a leisurely breakfast taking in the glorious views from the hut, We spend the morning exploring the Ghost Lake ecosystem before winding our way along Skyline Ridge and enjoying the breathtaking views from the top of the world. We then descend the spectacular stairway into lush forest and follow the flow of the water all the way to Stern Valley Hut. There’s plenty of time for exploring the riverbed and possibly glimpsing the resident Whio (Blue Duck) as your guides prepare another scrumptious meal.
Day Four – Stern Valley Hut to Specimen Point Hut, 25km, 7-8 hours.
We make an early start taking in the twin mirror lakes and the sunrise over the Boneyard, a remarkable scar created by the 1929 Murchison earthquake. We reach Solemn Saddle where the track leads us, through fantastic Lancewood stands and down into the headwaters of the Goat Creek catchment. After lunch at Goat Creek Hut we meander for the next 8 kilometres through flat, majestic podocarp forest, meeting the Mokihinui River. The homestretch, just a further 3km, encouraged along by the sound of the water we arrive at Specimen Point Hut, a cosy space nestled in the dramatic Mokihinui Gorge.
Day Five – Specimen Point Hut to Seddonville, 17km, 4-6 hours.
A stunning last day of walking in the densely forested Mokihinui Gorge, crossing many bridged creeks and marveling at the track carved out of solid rock. We join the historic miners’ track, every bit as astonishing as the Lyell sites and follow the Mokihinui River to the end of the track. We enjoy a well-earned lunch at the Rough and Tumble Lodge and then our van transfers you back to Nelson, with afternoon tea on the way.
Arrive back in Nelson at approximately 7 pm on Day 5.
Includes four night’s hut accommodation in Old Ghost Road huts, all meals, guiding services, door to door transport to/from Nelson accommodation.
NOTE: The accommodation on the track is in Old Ghost Road huts – these are basic, but comfortable and must be shared with other walkers. Guests carry their own pack containing personal clothing and sleeping bag. Guides carry all food, cooking utensils and safety equipment.
Price: $1995 per person
Available Departures 2020/2021
October November December January February March April May
Available Departures 2021/2022
November 01,08,15,22,29 December 06,13 January 17,24,31 February 07,14,21,28 March 07,14,21,28 April 04,11,18