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George Sound Track Transport

George Sound Track Transport

You will need transport at each end of the track, a combination of water taxi and/or flight as follows:

Take a water taxi Te Anau Downs – Hankinson Hut.  From there you can choose to hike through to George Sound and return to Hankinson Hut (cheapest option) or you can organise a flight out from George Sound on a floatplane or helicopter.  You can also do this in reverse.

You can book exactly what you need with our George Sound Track Transport Package.

What to expect and safety information

The George Sound is a Route and not a tramping track.

Expert skills and experience are required for this route and any situation can be encountered so hikers need to be prepared. Routes do not get the same priority in maintenance and we often do not know what the situation on the route is like unless there is a significant hazard known to us.

This track is certainly an adventure and the below will help you plan your trip.  We also recommend talking to the local Fiordland DOC Visitor Centre before departing so you have the most up to date information.

  • This is a challenging tramping route so you will need above average fitness and high-level backcountry (remote areas) skills and experience, including navigation and survival skills. You also need river crossing skills and experience.
  • Although the route is reasonably well marked, you can expect to encounter tree falls, knee-deep mud, river crossings, tree roots, and some rough terrain. The track is not well defined in places. It is consistently muddy and wet. Some sections become impassable due to flooding after heavy rain – this is not uncommon and will cause delays.
  • You need to be well equipped – taking topo maps and a Personal Locator Beacon and/or mountain radio is essential.  An In-Reach device or Satellite phone is even better.
  • Take extra days of food in case you are delayed due to weather or flooding.
  • Portable stoves for cooking must be carried, as there are no cooking facilities supplied in any of the huts on this route.
  • A tent is also required due to the long distance between the George Sound Hut and Thomson Hut.
  • Rivers and lakes both prone to rapid rising. Lakes can get very windy and there are few places to land
  • You can portage kayak between lakes but single plastic boats are recommended as opposed to fiberglass and/or doubles.
  • The route to Mt.Elwood mica mine is not maintained but has old markers still in place. Takes about 4 ½ hours from Thomson hut to the mica mine.

Safety is your responsibility

Before you head into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven’t returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website.

Didymo

For the walkers/ fishermen and pack-rafters, Lake Te Anau has Didymo, but the inland lakes and rivers of the George Sound Track do not; therefore you need a Clean Gear Certificate for fishing gear (and pack-rafts or kayaks)from an approved Clean Gear Station (like the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre or we can help you clean your gear and issue you one) for this area. To help prevent the spread of didymo ensure you clean your gear between catchments, and certified watercraft needs to be portaged across Lake Te Anau.

What you need to know:

  • The George Sound is a Route and not a tramping track.
  • This is a challenging tramping route so you will need above average fitness and high-level backcountry (remote areas) skills and experience, including navigation and survival skills. You also need river crossing skills and experience.
  • Although the route is reasonably well marked, you can expect to encounter tree falls, knee-deep mud, river crossings, tree roots, and some rough terrain. The track is not well defined in places. It is consistently muddy and wet. Some sections become impassable due to flooding after heavy rain – this is not uncommon and will cause delays.
  • You need to be well equipped – taking topo maps and a Personal Locator Beacon and/or mountain radio is essential.  An In-Reach device or Satellite phone is even better.
  • Take extra days of food in case you are delayed due to weather or flooding.
  • Portable stoves for cooking must be carried, as there are no cooking facilities supplied in any of the huts on this route.
  • A tent is also required due to the long distance between the George Sound Hut and Thomson Hut.
  • Rivers and lakes both prone to rapid rising. Lakes can get very windy and there are few places to land
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