Callery Gorge Walk

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The Callery Gorge walk is an easy 1 hr & 20min walk from the start and you double back again along the same track.

The track follows the old sluice pipes laid by the Waiho Sluicing Company in 1912. Callery was the first person to find gold in Franz Josef  in 1868.

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Quick Facts about this walk

  • Location: West Coast South Island
  • Distance: 5.20 km
  • Time needed: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Wheelchair Access: No
  • Route: Double back
  • Elevation: 200m
  • Wet Feet: No
  • Toilets: No
  • Dogs: No
  • Mobile Coverage: No
  • Last Updated: November, 2019

We’ve partnered with Macpac outdoor walking & hiking gear to bring you the very best products designed exclusively for our New Zealand climate. They’ll ship for FREE within NZ on orders over $100 (if under $100 it’s only $5). Worldwide international shipping is available except to the USA. Bulky orders will be $20.

Summary points about this walk

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Points of interest along the walk​

Point 1: Callery Gorge walk – Start

Head to the cul-de-sac in Cowan Street, this is your starting point. Just follow the road to the trun off, 11 minutes. Take the right fork to Callery Gorge. This service road is well used and leads to Franz Josef township water tanks.

From there the track is a little narrower until you reach the bluffs. The wooden handrails are there to stop you from taking a dive down to the Waiho river. Keep an eye open for the old water pipes running along the track.

Point 2: Franz Josef Water tanks

The walk to the water tanks is straightforward, you will walk past a green steel box with “Explosives” on the front door! Don’t worry, OSH would not allowed explosives to be stored on a public access road so any Tom, Dick or Harry could just walk up to the box and try to open it with a screwdriver and blow themselves up! At the water tanks there is only one path to take otherwise you will end up in the water works area and will most likely be asked with a smile, to leave.

Point 3: Waiho Sluicing Company

From here the track is a little narrower until you reach the bluffs. The wooden handrails are there to stop you from taking a dive down to the river. This is where the Waiho Sluicing Company tried their hand at gold mining. Keep an eye open for the old Waiho Sluicing Company water pipes running along the track.

Point 4: Callery Gorge swing bridge

Now the track get’s interesting. For the first fifteen minutes the walking is flat then you descend  down to Callery Gorge swing bridge.

Point 5: Homeward bound

DOC have closed the track that runs up to the next turn off to Roberts Point and the swing bridge that crosses the Waiho River and back to the middle carpark. So after our hot cup of coffee we decided to walk out via the Waiho River to the Franz Josef  bridge, then it is a short walk back into town – normally you would double back on the same track. This little detour cut our walking time in half. If the Callery River is lapping the side of the Gorge, don’t walk back out the Waiho River, you will be swimming not walking.

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What sort of walking and hiking gear will you need

We’ve partnered with Macpac outdoor walking & hiking gear to bring you the very best products designed exclusively for our New Zealand climate. They’ll ship for FREE within NZ on orders over $100 (if under $100 it’s only $5). Worldwide international shipping is available except to the USA. Bulky orders will be $20.

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