The Ahuriri Conservation Park has over 49,000 hectares of rugged mountain country, valuable and vulnerable wetlands, tussock lands and beech / tawhai forest.

River valleys and wetlands in the park are outstanding habitat for many species including the endangered black stilt/kakī, black-fronted tern/tarapirohe, and wrybill/ngutu-pare. The beech/tawhai forests are home to the main forest birds, including the threatened kākāriki/yellow-crowned parakeet, kea and NZ falcon/kārearea.

Native fish recorded in the upper Ahuriri River, include alpine galaxias (Galaxias paucipondylus), koaro (Galaxias brevipinnis), common river galaxias (Galaxias vulgaris), and upland bully (Gobiomorphus breviceps).

The Ahuriri River, though large, has excellent access almost all the way to its head basins with several huts en-route and attractive side valleys that could be explored or traversed to reach the Ruataniwha Conservation Park; notably Watson Stream and Snowy Gorge Creek. The headwaters saddle with both the South Huxley and South Temple valleys making possible more chal- lenging routes out of the valley. The va - ley itself is beautiful and the showpiece of the MacKenzie Basin headwaters with good road access from the south off SH8 (Lindis Pass Highway).

Fishing is excellent throughout the valley and the mid-river has some moderately challenging white water kayaking sections. Notable alpine ascents are possible on Mt Barth and Mt Huxley, both over 2400.

Tracks, Trips and Walks

  • DoC recommended 
  • Take the marked track into Canyon Creek and follow this to the valley head where a rough trail exists above bluffs to reach a bivvy rock beneath Mt Barth, which can also be climbed from here, as can Mt Heim
  • Tramping parties will find an unmarked route over the range to the east taking them back to the Ahuriri Valley. The upper Ahuriri, above Top Hut, has alpine routes to the South Huxley and South Temple valleys with the latter having a further alpine route from South Temple.

Places to Stay

  • The valley huts are small, but there are superb campsites for base camp or family-oriented activities. 
  • DoC website

Reproduced in part from an article in Wilderness Magazine and information from the DoC website

Trip Images