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Kia Ora to Windy Ridge

Length: 9.5 km
Walking time: 3 h 30 min to 4 h 30 min
Climbing: 370m
Descending: 352m
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Overview

If you like waterfalls, you will like today. After a yummy breakfast beside the bubbling brook, you cross the bridge over the creek and start walking through the open plain then back into a mossy rainforest. 2.6km after leaving Kia Ora (about 1hr) the track leads you out of the forest and into a large clearing and historic Du Cane Hut. (There is a very rustic open air pit toilet just before the hut.)

The hut and area is worth dropping packs and having a look around. The hut is for day use only, no camping (except in an emergency).

Follow the signposted Overland Track (veering left just past Du Cane Hut) for another 1.7km to come to the first side trip to waterfalls. This first side track leads down to Dalton & Fergusson Falls, it is about a 1km return trip (steep in places) to the two waterfalls. Back on the Overland Track it is just over another 1km to the side trip to Hartnett Falls. Hartnett Falls are the tallest of these three waterfalls; it is a 1.5km return sidetrip to the view at the top of the falls. These side tracks are slippery and have large unfenced cliffs.

This is about halfway through the day's walking. Continue along the Overland Track for another 4km as it leads through the forest, up and over Du Cane Gap then down to Windy Ridge. As you approach the Bert Nichols Hut, the forest starts to dry out, becoming mostly eucalypt and you will see the Du Cane Range come into clear view, towering above (to the right).

Try not to get sucked into the vortex of Bert Nichols Hut, there are some great outdoor areas beside and behind the hut where you can soak up majestic views of the wide valley below Du Cane Range.

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Facilities

Creek Crossings
All significant creek crossings have a bridge.
Between Kia Ora and Harnett Falls there are many reliable creeks.
(Treat water before drinking)

Signage
All notable intersections are clearly signposted.

Toilets
0km) Kia Ora
2.6km) A very rustic open air drop toilet East of Du Cane Hut
End) Windy Ridge

Seats
0km) Kia Ora
2.6km) Seats in Du Cane Hut
End) Windy Ridge

Shelter
0km) Kia Ora Hut
2.6km) Du Cane Hut
End) Bert Nichols Hut

Mobile Phone Coverage
Telstra: No coverage
Optus: No coverage

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Track Conditions

The walk starts by following a timber boardwalk but the majority of the track surface is natural rock or gravel.

There are many exposed tree roots and boggy sections, especially in the first half of the walk.

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Hazards

Much of the walk is in a fairly sheltered rainforest.

Be mindful of tree roots and other trip hazards, especially in the dense forests in the first half of the walk. The timber steps and boardwalks can also get very slippery.

The side tracks to the waterfalls are steep and very slippery in places. The track leads to the top of unfenced cliffs with no warning. Keep at least two body lengths back from the edge.