A Fresh Night out in the Valley
Rugged valleys, rich rainforest and swing bridges above roaring rivers… Let me show you our wild West Coast on this overnight Adventure to Frew Hut.
We’ll follow the Hokitika and Whitcombe River along the remains of the Mathias Pass Road that was supposed to link the West Coast with Canterbury. The rugged terrain makes it easy to guess why the plan was abandoned. The mix of gorged rivers and jagged mountain ranges is best traversed on foot but brings with it your standard, world-class views NZ provides.
The track has several river crossings in typical West Coast fashion, some of which have swing bridges. Luckily, the fireplace in Frew Hut is perfect to dry our clothes after a day out in the bush and enjoy a well-deserved brew.
You’re in for:
- A cosy hut among West Coast scenery (so beautiful it’s been used frequently in David Attenborough’s docs).
- Views up the Whitcombe Valley.
- A stop at the Hokitika Gorge.
- Multiple swing bridges and a cableway crossing.
- Excellent company.
A great trip to get away from it all and relax among native bush! Great for those with a bit of outdoor experience and looking to embrace parts of New Zealand most don’t think to explore.
I have travelled and hiked around the world, but there is no place like the South Island of New Zealand. My best memories have been out in the mountains on foot, skis, or raft. I want to share New Zealand's backcountry experience and explore our unique environment with others. I love to explore places that stay off the radar, whether it's countries few have heard of, or huts that only get a couple of visits a year. Finding unforgettable views, wildlife that rarely sees humans, and bush in its wild state has made a huge impression on me. Enjoying these places while conserving them and leaving them in better condition for the future is crucial. Come with me and discover remote and pristine valleys, mountains and bush. Plus, fall in love with backcountry hut life by the fire, bathtub or natural hot pools.
- Deep knowledge of local and regional backcountry as well as the West Coast.
- Has travelled Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Georgia, Armenia, for personal travel that mixed multi day trips, day hikes, camping, huts, guesthouses, all up to 4000m.
This tour and its itinerary
Our Adventure starts with a scenic drive past Hokitika Gorge, which is always worth a stop. The river gets its intense turquoise colour through fine rock flour made of schist rock and sandstone, ground down by glacier movement in the Southern Alps. Definitely an incredible sight and quite unique to this part of the world!
This is not the last we’ll get to see of the river: Our hike follows the Hokitika and Whitcombe riverbeds for most of the way. Next to lush forest and mountain vistas, there are also some fun crossings ahead of us, like a cableway and several swing bridges. Rapid Creek Hut makes for a good lunch spot before we continue past huge boulders, grassy terraces and through dense bush.
Frew Hut has all the basic hut facilities and makes for a comfortable night with a fireplace and the sounds of the nearby river. You don’t want to miss the star-filled sky around here or the sounds of our wildlife hidden in the bush which comes alive at night. Let’s ensure we’ve got a red-light torch, as you just never know what sort of flightless, long-beaked bird may wander past our hut…
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
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.
When’s the best time to do this trip?
The river crossings become impassable after heavy rain, so I would avoid September and October - our wettest months on the West Coast. (If you do book then, please be aware that on occasion, we may have to postpone if the weather is too severe).
Our warmer months between November and June make for better weather and even the start of winter in July and August is nice, with snow-capped mountains in the background.
What kind of food should I bring?
You can select our food option at check-out, including energy-rich snacks and meals provided by Backcountry Cuisine with several options to choose from. If you want to bring your own, I would pack 2 lunches, 1 dinner and 1 breakfast, plus some snacks like nuts, chocolate and fruit.
How cold does it get?
Depending on the season, it can get quite cold around here especially when we have to cross the rivers (I don't think they ever heat up to be honest). That’s why it’s good to pack spare socks and warm clothes to put on once we reach the hut and we can also dry our hiking gear over the fire. Our minimum requirements list everything you need for a comfortable trip.
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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