Time: 1hr – Multi-day
Hut bookings: DOC huts – first come first served
For a 1hr walk ignore the stock bridge access to the Lake Rere Track and keep to the true left bank looking downstream. The track continues past the confluence of the Caples and Greenstone Rivers. Cross the swing bridge to access the Greenstone Track and return to your starting point. Going further up the Greenstone track will lead to several deep holes ideal for swimming on a summer’s day.
Greenstone road end to Mid Caples Hut
9km, 2 – 3 hours
As above but don’t cross the swing bridge, the Caples Track continues on the true left of the Caples River. There are several slips between the Caples/Greenstone confluence and Mid Caples Hut – navigate with care during periods of poor weather. Along the valley floor, the track mainly follows the bush edge but crosses the occasional grassy clearing.
Mid Caples Hut to McKellar Hut
22km, 6 – 7 hours
Travel up the valley through bush and grassy clearings is easy—beware of side streams after heavy rain. The track across McKellar Saddle (945 m) gives great views and has been boardwalked to protect the fragile subalpine vegetation. West of the saddle, the track again enters the bush and zigzags downwards for one hour to the open valley floor where a track junction is reached upstream from Lake McKellar.
McKellar Hut to Greenstone Hut
18km, 4.5 – 6.5 hours
Cross the bridge in front of the hut and follow the track downriver on the true left. A relatively easy valley walk alternating between tussock flats and bush until the track reaches a gorge through an old landslide. Steele Creek is crossed by a swingbridge and the track veers to the right passing close to a private hut. The track then meanders down the valley, still keeping on the true left of the river down a wide-open valley before entering the bush again. A junction in the track is reached where a right turn leads across a bridge over a gorge to the Greenstone Hut and the Mavora Walkway.
Greenstone Hut to road end
12km, 3 – 5 hours
Return to junction via the bridge over the gorge. The valley begins to narrow sharply as the river enters a long gorge section. In winter this section of track may be prone to avalanches. There is an emergency bridge upstream if the creek across Slip Flat is in flood. Beyond Slip Flat the track enters the bush again and follows the river down to its junction with the Caples River. Parts of the track cross private land and stock may be present. Continue to the confluence with the Caples River and cross the swing bridge to the true left bank. Here you join the Caples Track – follow the track downstream to car park.