NELSON TRAILS

Moa Park

Abel Tasman National Park

Moa Park is an intriguing sub-alpine tussock basin in the highlands of Abel Tasman National Park. Located on the Inland Abel Tasman Track between Wainui Saddle and Castle Rock Hut, visitors usually pass straight through given its proximity to the latter hut, as well as the road end at Canaan Downs. This is also due to the lack of accommodation, with Moa Park Shelter no longer being classed as a standard hut, but rather a bunk-less shelter. Despite this, Moa Park is a great location as an overnight campsite on multi-day trips along the Inland Track. It is also a worthy day-walk in its own right, via Moa Park Track from Canaan Downs.

Details
Distances (to Moa Park)5.2 km one way from Canaan Downs car park; 3.5 km one way from Castle Rock Hut; 10.5 km one way from Awapoto Hut; 5 km return Moa Park to Mt Evans
Time Required (to Moa Park)4-5 hr return from Canaan Downs car park; 1 hr 30 min one way from Castle Rock Hut; 4 hr 30 min one way from Awapoto Hut; 3 hr return Moa Park to Mt Evans
Trail TypeFarm track/Tramping track
Physical DifficultyModerate   
UsesWalking and trail running
DirectionEither
Max Elevation1010 m (Inland Track junction)
Dog AccessDogs are prohibited in Abel Tasman National Park

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Connections

Rameka Track

  MTB

Canaan MTB Loop Track

   Walking, trail running and MTB

Wainui Hut (Wainui Track)

  Walking and trail running

Awapoto Hut (Inland Track)

  Walking and trail running

Castle Rock Hut (Inland Track)

  Walking and trail running




Access

  1 hr 30 min from Nelson

 

The easiest way to access Moa Park is via Canaan Downs. From Nelson, follow State Highway 60 to the top of Takaka Hill. Turn right onto Canaan Road, which is just past the Ngarua Cave turnoff. Canaan Road is unsealed, windy and narrow, so drive with caution. It is 11 km from the turnoff to Canaan Downs car park.

 

The car park is situated at 750 m elevation. It is also the start point for Harwoods Hole Track, Rameka Track, Canaan Downs MTB tracks, and overnight tramps to Wainui Hut.

Description




Moa Park Track begins as a farm track, steadily climbing along the forest edge above the farmland of Canaan Downs. Pages Saddle is a short distance from the car park, where Rameka Track forks to the left. After 3 km you will reach Wainui Saddle, where Wainui Track descends north toward Wainui Hut (1 hr away), and eventually reaches Birds Clearing, inland from Pohara (3 hr away).

 

Moa Park Track continues into the bush and winds steeply up the western side of Evans Ridge. Once at the top, the surrounding bush contains a lot of dracophyllum, the roots of which make the track quite rugged. The track dips in and out of two creek gullies, then reaches a junction with the Inland Track. Awapoto Hut is 4 hr north of here. From the junction the track doubles as the Inland Track, and it is a short descent to Moa Park.

 

Moa Park is a basin of sub-alpine scrub and tussock amid the surrounding beech-forest-cloaked ridges. It is unusual in that it occurs at such a low elevation; situated at 1000 m, it is well below the natural tree line for the area (obviously, given that is it surrounded by tall silver beech). It is thought that the inability of trees to grow is caused by the microclimate created through the basin acting as a sink for cold air, as well as infertile and poorly-draining soil on the basin floor.

 

Moa Park Shelter is located on a slightly elevated site at the southern end of the basin. The bunks were removed and the hut was downgraded to a shelter. Presumably this was partly due to the its slightly awkward position of being roughly equidistant of Castle Rock Hut, Wainui Hut and Canaan Downs car park (nearby Holyoake Shelter suffered the same demotion, given its position between Castle Rock Hut and Abel Tasman Coast Track). You can still camp here, and there are a few flat clearings next to the shelter that provide enough room to pitch a tent.

Moa Park Shelter
Hut TypeShelter
CapacityNo bunks; space for two or three sleeping mats
BookingsNot required; first in, first served
FeeNo fee
FacilitiesNone
Altitude1000 m

Castle Rock Hut is a further 1 hr 30 min along the Inland Track from Moa Park. The Coast Track road end at Marahau is 13.5 km beyond Castle Rock Hut.

 

Moa Park is also the start point for the route to the summit of Mt Evans, the highest point in Abel Tasman National Park (1156 m). The route is not maintained and requires good navigation skills. A return trip to the summit from Moa Park will take around 3 hr.

Moa Park
Abel Tasman National Park

Moa Park is an intriguing sub-alpine tussock basin in the highlands of Abel Tasman National Park. Located on the Inland Abel Tasman Track between Wainui Saddle and Castle Rock Hut, visitors usually pass straight through given its proximity to the latter hut, as well as the road end at Canaan Downs. This is also due to the lack of accommodation, with Moa Park Shelter no longer being classed as a standard hut, but rather a bunk-less shelter. Despite this, Moa Park is a great location as an overnight campsite on multi-day trips along the Inland Track. It is also a worthy day-walk in its own right, via Moa Park Track from Canaan Downs.

Details
Distances (from Moa Park)5.2 km one way from Canaan Downs car park; 3.5 km one way from Castle Rock Hut; 10.5 km one way from Awapoto Hut; 5 km return Moa Park to Mt Evans
Time Required (from Moa Park)4-5 hr return from Canaan Downs car park; 1 hr 30 min one way from Castle Rock Hut; 4 hr 30 min one way from Awapoto Hut; 3 hr return Moa Park to Mt Evans
Trail TypeFarm track/Tramping track
Physical DifficultyModerate   
UsesWalking and trail running
DirectionEither
Max Elevation1010 m (Inland Track junction)
Dog AccessDogs are prohibited in Abel Tasman National Park

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Access

  1 hr 30 min from Nelson

 

The easiest way to access Moa Park is via Canaan Downs. From Nelson, follow State Highway 60 to the top of Takaka Hill. Turn right onto Canaan Road, which is just past the Ngarua Cave turnoff. Canaan Road is unsealed, windy and narrow, so drive with caution. It is 11 km from the turnoff to Canaan Downs car park.

 

The car park is situated at 750 m elevation. It is also the start point for Harwoods Hole Track, Rameka Track, Canaan Downs MTB tracks, and overnight tramps to Wainui Hut.




 

Description

Moa Park Track begins as a farm track, steadily climbing along the forest edge above the farmland of Canaan Downs. Pages Saddle is a short distance from the car park, where Rameka Track forks to the left. After 3 km you will reach Wainui Saddle, where Wainui Track descends north toward Wainui Hut (1 hr away), and eventually reaches Birds Clearing, inland from Pohara (3 hr away).

 

Moa Park Track continues into the bush and winds steeply up the western side of Evans Ridge. Once at the top, the surrounding bush contains a lot of dracophyllum, the roots of which make the track quite rugged. The track dips in and out of two creek gullies, then reaches a junction with the Inland Track. Awapoto Hut is 4 hr north of here. From the junction the track doubles as the Inland Track, and it is a short descent to Moa Park.

 

Moa Park is a basin of sub-alpine scrub and tussock amid the surrounding beech-forest-cloaked ridges. It is unusual in that it occurs at such a low elevation; situated at 1000 m, it is well below the natural tree line for the area (obviously, given that is it surrounded by tall silver beech). It is thought that the inability of trees to grow is caused by the microclimate created through the basin acting as a sink for cold air, as well as infertile and poorly-draining soil on the basin floor.

 

Moa Park Shelter is located on a slightly elevated site at the southern end of the basin. The bunks were removed and the hut was downgraded to a shelter. Presumably this was partly due to the its slightly awkward position of being roughly equidistant of Castle Rock Hut, Wainui Hut and Canaan Downs car park (nearby Holyoake Shelter suffered the same demotion, given its position between Castle Rock Hut and Abel Tasman Coast Track). You can still camp here, and there are a few flat clearings next to the shelter that provide enough room to pitch a tent.

 

Moa Park Shelter
Hut TypeShelter
CapacityNo bunks; space for two or three sleeping mats
BookingsNot required; first in, first served
FeeNo fee
FacilitiesNone
Altitude1000 m

 

Castle Rock Hut is a further 1 hr 30 min along the Inland Track from Moa Park. The Coast Track road end at Marahau is 13.5 km beyond Castle Rock Hut.

 

Moa Park is also the start point for the route to the summit of Mt Evans, the highest point in Abel Tasman National Park (1156 m). The route is not maintained and requires good navigation skills. A return trip to the summit from Moa Park will take around 3 hr.




 

Connections

Rameka Track

MTB

Canaan MTB Loop Track

Walking and trail running and MTB

Wainui Hut (Wainui Track)

Walking and trail running

Awapoto Hut (Inland Track)

Walking and trail running

Castle Rock Hut (Inland Track)

Walking and trail running

Updated 20 February 2019