Quick tips for the Awapoto Hike:
- About a 2 hour drive from The Barn
- Remote hike, so bring everything you need.
- Difficultly: medium to hard.
Head up towards Takaka and onto the Abel Tasman Drive. The road will take you around Tata Beach and passes by the Wainui Falls car park. If you’d like to stop here, the falls are a 45 minute walk from the car park. Drive along the winding Totaranui Road. The hike starts at Pigeon Saddle, where the inland track crosses over Totaranui road (if you are using Google Maps and can’t find pigeon saddle, look for Toto’s Cafe & Pizzaria. Pigeon Saddle is just a few minutes further along the road). You’ll see a layby on the right sight of the road, with a DOC sign, park here. Make sure to record your hike in the intentions book here.
This track will be quiet and is much less traveled than the coastal track, and it’s possible that you won’t encounter anyone else on your hike.
The track up to Awapoto hut is quite steep. It’s only 5km to the hut but it’s a climb most of the way, and you’ll want to allow around 3 hours to get there.
Most of the hike is in wild, undisturbed forest, and the track itself is quite overgrown. There are a few fallen trees that will need to be ducked under or climbed over and some rocks that you will need to scramble up.
Around half way along the track you will emerge from the forest to an outcrop and the track will level out. From here there is an amazing view of Wainui bay.
Returning back to the forest, there will be a slight descent before another steep climb up over rocks and trees. Look out for a sign to the hut, which is through a small overgrown path. You’ll come to a clearing, which offers an amazing view of the bay, perfect for viewing the sunrise.
There are some pots in the hut, which can be placed on top of the fire to boil the water here. Its a cozy hut and makes for a great remote escape.