A well-kept secret in wild Tasman
While Tasman is famous for its white beaches and hot weather, there’s a gem not far off the coast that most travellers oversee – the glacial Cobb Valley in Kahurangi National Park.
Join me for a night in Fenella Hut and for…
- Vast views over Kahurangi National Park.
- An abundance of wildlife and native bush.
- A cosy hut with stargazing opportunities.
- Hidden mountain tarns to swim in.
- Excellent company and local knowledge.
The Cobb Valley track leads past open meadows, ancient beech groves and historic huts to the rocky tops of the ridge, with dramatic scenery all around. It’s a top-five rated route for keen, local trampers.
The trip features mostly flat terrain apart from a steep climb to the top of the valley, which makes it perfect for families and beginners who want to experience the backcountry life. However, if you’re up for a more challenging trip, we can continue to the nearby Kakapo Peak which offers panoramic views over the National Park. Cobb Valley has something for everyone!
Keep an eye out for cheeky weka, kea, bellbirds and trilobite fossils found in the area – the oldest known fossils in New Zealand.
As a born and bred West Coaster, the bush is in my blood! I love showing off my beautiful Kāinga Tupu (homeland) and all it has to offer. I'm always exploring new places with my best mate Skadi, the white shepherd. My love for exploring the great outdoors is what drove me to leave my hectic day job and create a life that allowed me to get outside more. I'm a big fan of essential living, enjoying the simple things and staying away from material goods; you can get the benefits from all that out in the bush. If you hike with me, we'll visit some spots literally off the beaten track. The beaches on my Instagram are a prime example. I look forward to showing you the Coast!
- Knows the Coast and the "Coasters" like the back of his hand.
- Good knowledge of survival manuals and outdoor techniques.
- Has a “pretty mean beard”.
- Has lived abroad for 17 years.
- Basic First Aid Certificate.
Traditional Kiwi Living
While the track is easy going and we can reach Fenella Hut comfortably in about 4 hours, we want to start our trip early to allow time for some further exploration. We can meet in nearby towns like Motueka, Takaka or at the car park – whatever works best for you.
Starting with a stroll across grassy meadows, the track gradually climbs towards the top of the valley but the ascent is hardly noticeable for the main part. Short sections through shaded beech forest allow us to cool down and we’ll pass two historic huts on the way; the restored Chaffey Hut built in 1953, and a tent camp used for deer culling back in the day.
Further on, a steeper climb leads us to Fenella Hut located on top of the ridge. Time to claim the best bunks and relax in the afternoon sun! From here, we can decide on how we want to spend the rest of our day: There are mountain tarns waiting to be explored, unique fauna and flora, lookouts over the National Park or a longer trip to Kakapo Peak. Once the light fades, we can stay out for some fantastic stargazing, get the fire on and prepare some dinner – well deserved after a day in the bush.
This is a must-do, I promise. It’s exciting, interesting and we’ll make sure that you really fall in love with this region’s backcountry surroundings – like I have.
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!
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
There are add-on extras for this tour. These are the little things that’ll either make your Adventure easier to organise or more rugged - your choice. You can add these during the booking process.
Climb up Kakapo Peak
If you’re up for a challenge, we can climb Kakapo Peak at 1,783m once we’ve reached Fenella Hut. You’re in for epic views over Kahurangi National Park, a good workout and we will definitely deserve a drink and swim afterwards!Free
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.
Is this a good track for children?
Yes, Cobb Valley is quite popular with families and Fenella Hut is a great trip to introduce your kids to overnight hikes. There is much to explore around the hut, including wildlife and lookouts over the surrounding ranges, so they will be entertained the whole time.
Can I swim in the tarn?
You can, but the water is ice cold even in summer. If you’re up for it, don’t forget your togs, a towel and some warm clothes to put on afterwards.
What's the accommodation like?
We’ll spend the night in Fenella Hut, a traditional backcountry hut serviced by DOC. There are basic facilities like a water tank, drop toilet, kitchen area, indoors woodfire and 12 bunk beds. On weekends, it can get busy but that makes for good chats around the fire.
We can also camp out if you prefer some privacy, in that case you’ll need to bring a tent or hire one from us.
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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