Alpine scenery, river crossings and hanging valleys
This is one of the most stunning alpine routes in Arthur’s Pass – and not for the faint-hearted! You’re in for 3 days of steep climbs, rock scrambling and river crossings, rewarded by vast views and unique landscape in the heart of our Southern Alps.
- Two cosy huts deep in the bush
- Waterfalls, alpine passes and canyons
- A mountain tarn among snow-capped peaks
- Rare birdlife like Kea and Kākāriki
- A hard challenge for those with good experience in the outback
We’ll follow the Edwards-Hawdon Route through several rivers, remote valleys and over the rocky Taruahuna and Walker Pass. With jagged mountains to either side, it’s easy to forget life outside of the wild. This is a big trip that will take your mind off any stress or worries at home, that’s for sure. Connect with nature, the wildlife and this soulful place over an epic three days of exploring.
Apply before booking
To head out on an expert level Adventure, we require all our Visitors to prove they have the experience to do so. This is standard across all of Bushman Tours and we need you to share your passed trips or any certificates you might have.
Inky is a tribal bushman born on Piney Mountain whose blood flows with the Susquehannock River. He is a well-travelled explorer who has ventured deep into the Amazon and to the heights of the Andes. A keen storyteller, Inki carries extensive knowledge of ecology, geology as well as indigenous narratives of his beloved Southern Alps. A patient teacher, he is always happy to share his backcountry skills with others. If you're looking for an experience above and beyond just hiking, Inki is the Bushman to book.
- Roaming Western Ghats, Andes and Appalachian Mountains
- Emergency First Response & First Aid Trained
- Rescue Diver & (USAF) Battlefield Care Trained
- Also worked as guide at Ngārua Caves with a focus on history and geological/ecological knowledge.
- Hablo español intermedio!
Deep in Arthur's Pass
Our Route starts with a relatively easy day to Edwards Hut from the Edwards / Mingha car park. After our first river crossing (weather permitting), we’ll follow the track over rocky riverbeds and climb through native bush. Waterfalls and first views of our Adventure ahead makes this section beautiful enough to endure the constant up and down that will get the lungs burning and legs pumped.
We’ll catch a glimpse of Edwards Hut before emerging onto river flats. From here, it’s not far to the hut and the area invites for further exploration before nightfall.
The second day includes climbs up the rocky debris of Taruahuna Pass and the extremely steep section to Tarn Col. The views are stunning from up here and make for a good lunch spot with the tarn reflecting the surrounding mountain ranges.
More river crossings and a climb to Walker Pass await, before we reach our destination, Hawdon Hut. Depending on how long the ascent to Tarn Col takes, we’ll arrive around early evening for a well-deserved brew. After such a long day, we can take it easy on the way out. The open grasslands and rocky river beds make for good photo opportunities on the last section before the car park.
This is a memorable trip showcasing the best Arthur’s Pass has to offer. Locals rate it highly and the variety of nature you’ll be immersed in can reset anyone’s stressed soul!
All tours require the proper gear to ensure you’re having the time of your life, and are well prepared if things go south. It’s the real and rugged New Zealand out there!
1.5L water container
Cutlery, bowl & cup
Lighter / Matches
Pack Cover / Liner
Sunscreen & hat
Toiletries & Underwear
Top & Bottom Base layer
Torch & Batteries
Warm hat & gloves (March to October)
Warm hiking layer
Cooker & gas/fuel
Personal First Aid Kit
Q & A
Your Bushman has added a couple of answers to questions other Visitors have asked in the past to help you with your booking plans. Once you book a tour, you'll be in direct contact with your Bushman for more support.
Can we do this in winter?
We can, if there hasn’t been heavy rain or snowfall. There are several river crossings that can become impassable after bad weather, also resulting in avalanche danger. This whole tour is subject to reports on this and can be postponed or cancelled depending on the situation.
If the weather has been fine, this is a good challenge in winter and it’s quite magical with the snowy peaks. Just remember to bring crampons and ice axes anytime between June to October. (Sunglasses also help as snow can be VERY bright).
What’s the accommodation like?
Edwards and Hawdon Hut are both maintained by DOC and have basic facilities like bunk beds, fireplaces, water tanks and drop-down toilets. They are both serviced and can accommodate up to 16 (Edwards) and 20 (Hawdon) people.
Why do I need a tent?
Although the huts are quite large, it's best to bring tents as back-up, not to mention in emergency situations. The route is popular with locals in summer and people training for the Coast to Coast.
Here’s a few answers to the more general questions about the whole journey. You can visit our help and support area for any further information or contact us via the chat function.
What is the refund and cancellation policy?
Bushman Tours sets a standard cancellation policy that can be found via our Terms & Conditions. This is globally set at 48 hours notice. However, Bushmen may add to this depending on the requirements for the Adventure (e.g. - hiring gear and renting equipment on your behalf). The final policy will be located at the bottom of the checkout, or you can reach out to us to check.
What happens if the tour is cancelled due to weather?
In most cases, the Bushman can arrange another day to run your tour, but this also comes down to when you're available if travelling through New Zealand. We recommend ensuring you have insurance for cancellation of any tours. If the Bushman has to cancel due to a health risk, we will call you to arrange another option.
What gear do I need?
Although we have a minimum requirement of gear, you will need the right equipment and gear that is relevant to the Adventure you're booking. This is usually found at the bottom of each tour page, but for our minimum, please visit our FAQs & blog page.
Can I hire gear/equipment?
In some circumstances, your Bushman will have equipment for you to hire. This is available to browse and book through the checkout. We may also have options through our checkout. Although you may be able to borrow gear during the tour, it's important to reserve it now.
What food shall I bring?
Depending on the length, this can vary. Your Bushman will advise on the tour page what is recommended for this particular Adventure, but typically, what we offer at checkout via the add-ons section is what you'll need. Keep it lightweight and nutritious if you buy your own.
Where do I meet my Bushman?
We always try to pick the closest iSite (Visitor Centre) to your Adventure's location. Instructions on precisely where to meet are sent after the booking is made. However, you can also message your Bushman and arrange another location as long as it's close enough to the region.
How much extra is it to add family/friends onto the booking?
If you book and find that more people want to come with you, we can arrange to add them onto the booking (this is dependant on the Bushman's preference to the number of people to take out). The more that book on the original checkout option, the cheaper the fee for each individual - so spread the word before you go to book! Please note, you cannot add or bring extra people 48 hours before the tour starts.
Can I talk to my Bushman before the Adventure?
Absolutely! Once you book, you will be able to login and chat directly to your Bushman through a private, secure chat. Here you can arrange some extras you would like to do, timings for pick up and much more.
Need more help?
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