Information Provided by Pete Hurst from Horse Trails South Trust
Historic Amuri Pass Stock and Pack Track.
This is one of the historical routes from Canterbury to the West Coast. This pack and stock track is part of our heritage it is a credit and a testimonial to the early settlers of New Zealand, they broke in this country by hand and with horses, so please ride part or all of this... use it and help to keep it preserved.
Engineers Camp to Amuri Pass, and the West Coast
• Please note that the cell phone coverage at Engineers Camp outside the Downers Yard only works for contacting Emergency Services.
• Check river levels on the ECAN website before you leave home
• The entire track and most of the gradients has been reformed in places and is generally 1.8 meters wide to cater for packhorses.
• It’s a tough ride and horses need to be fit and well shod. They need to be used to this type of topography and mountain travel.
Start at horse paddock opposite Rogers Crescent.
Take ROW to Boyle River at the end of Rogers Crescent.
Cross the Boyle River 80 Meters upstream and climb up the bank by the cable or 200 Meters downstream by the green horse markers.
Head west on the 4 wd track towards the Doubtful River.
Alternatively, you may leave from the carpark opposite the Doubtful. River/Boyle River confluence.
Going this way, when you climb the bank by the DOC sign make sure you turn left and follow the markers. Don’t be tempted to follow the tramper track here as the small swamp between the sign and the bank will swallow your horse!
Generally, follow the green markers up the river on the track.
You will get to a wide boulder strewn creek. The track exit on the opposite bank has been washed away
Pick your way around the toe of this creek and rejoin the track about 200 meters upstream.
Follow on up the track, weaving in and out of the matagouri and bush. Any green horse markers you see should be followed,
The 3 bunk Doubtful Hut is located on the Doubtful River riverbank.
Riding time to Doubtful Hut from Engineers Camp is 2 hours.
From Doubtful Hut follow up the riverbed until you reach the turnoff to Doubtless Hut.
From Hut to Hut it takes 1 hour 30 minutes. There are a few track markers in the riverbed.
Just keep plodding up the river following any green track markers you see.
From the turnoff to Doubtless Hut here the option is to travel up the Doubtless River to the Doubtless Hut, where a horse paddock is located, or continue on to the Amuri Pass.
It takes 10 minutes to ride to the hut from this point.
It will take 1 hour to ride to the pass from the turnoff to the Doubtless Hut.
Phantom Flat is the proffered camping spot, with ample grass for your horses.
From Amuri Pass follow the track down into the bush and cross three creeks till you arrive at Big Log Creek.
Lead down the track just past Big Log Creek, as marked to the Waiheke River.
Cross the river twice to arrive at Torrent Creek.
You are able to camp at Driftwood Camp or proceed along to Slaty Creek Hut, generally on the true left of the Waiheke River Riding Time from Amuri Pass to Slaty Creek 2 hours
There is a horse paddock located at Slaty Creek Hut.
From Slaty Creek ride out to the Department of Conservation carpark at Waititi Downs. When crossing the Tutaekeri River head directly opposite the crossing point to regain the track through the gorse. There is a horse gate at the carpark to enable access.
Riding time 2 hours and 30 Minutes.
Enjoy your ride crossing the Southern Alps.
Total Distance sixty-four kms
There are only five crossings of the Waiheke River from Amuri Pass to Slaty Creek Hut