Track Details

  • Otaki Forks to Field Hut: 5.5km, 3hrs
  • Field Hut to Kime Hut: 4.7km, 2.5-3hrs
  • Kime Hut to Alpha Hut, 7.5km, 4-5hrs
  • Alpha Hut to Kaitoke, 15km, 5.75-7.25hrs

The Southern Crossing is one of the four classic tramps of the Tararua Range. Originally it was the route from Otaki Forks to the Wairarapa Plains (and in latter years, the Kaitoke Basin) popularised during the 1920s and 30s by the Tararua Tramping Club and other clubs in the Hutt Valley and Wairarapa.

The 65km crossing of the alpine tops section from Table Top to Mount Alpha (1361 m) involves about 6-8 hours of travel, with superb views to the south of Wellington Harbour, the Marlborough Sounds and the Kaikoura Mountains. The highest point of the route, Mount Hector (1529 m), carries a large wooden cross erected in 1950 (and replaced in 1980) as a memorial to trampers who lost their lives in World War II.

The track down from Alpha Hut to the Kaitoke carpark leads through the saddle of Hell’s Gate, over Omega, and through the stunted silver beech along the Marchant Ridge.

A winter Southern Crossing in good snow conditions can be one of the best tramping opportunities in the park.

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Tramper website track info: