From Kaniere (east of Hokitika) take Kanieri-Kowhitirangi and continue on this, with a right turn in Kokatahi, then 3 km later turn left onto what becomes Municipal Road. At the end, turn right down Nielson Road, then bear right onto Whitcombe Valley Road. After crossing two concrete bridges, there's an unnamed side road. In good weather, this may be accesible, allowing you to drive as far as the gate where there is parking space. Otherwise, park at the junction and walk from there.
For a gentle taster of this walk, make your way to the road end, then follow the river for about 1 km until you meet the cairns and orange markers indicating the start of the cut track. This runs for another 2 km or so to the cableway across the river. You might take this if you're feeling adventurous, or you might decide to turn back. From there on, the going certainly gets much more challenging, as the track follows the Whitcombe River through a series of narrow gorges, with several stretches of river bed strewn with large boulders. Near Frew Hut, the track forks, with one branch heading east into the network of Whitcombe Loop tracks. The Valley Track continues south, passing through a further series of gorges, past Prices Flat and Wilkinson huts, until it climbs steeply up to Neave Creek Hut and the Gateway. Here, you enter open, Alpine country, with more river crossing and boulder hopping, until at last the track fades out at the top of Whitcombe Pass. It's a challenging, multiday trip, so be prepared!
If you've found this website helpful, you might also want to look at some of my novels and poetry. These, like my dog-walking, are drawn from a love of nature and the countryside. To learn more, click here.