Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife
Permit required - New Zealand has a unique system of simple (mostly) backcountry huts that typically have wood/coal heating stoves, plastic-covered mattresses, clean water and bunkhouse communal living. Space can be limited and permits are required. Check in the LDOC offices of major towns for permits. Good information can be found here- doc.govt.nz/
A good trail that has a few ankle twisters.
After a quick rise from the Lake Mackenzie hut, the trail skirts the edge of the forest line. The rest of the trail trends downhill, and the stunted trees allow for good views of the valley. There are various lush stream crossings along the way.
After a few miles, immense cliffs rise up and create dramatic waterfalls like Earland Falls. Eventually, you drop back down into the thick beech forest and soon arrive at Lake Howdeb Hut.
Flora & Fauna
Southern Beech forests, Kea and Kaka parrots, Bellbird, Grey warbler, South Island Robin, Fantail and Brown creeper, Lancewood plants, Kiwi (you'll hear them but probably not see them), invasive Australian possums.