The first leg of the Heaphy Track
is an old pack track winding uphill through dense beech forest, zig-zagging at a moderate the gradient. The Aorere Shelter is 10.5km up the hill and provides a welcome rest point or shelter from inclement weather. Fresh water is available here as well as toilet facilities. Take your time and conserve your energy on this section.
Further along, there is a short detour to check out Flanagans Corner, which is the highest point on the track at just over 900m and affords a stunning view out over the wilds of the Kahurangi National Park and back to Golden Bay. On a fine day, the North Island and Mt Taranaki can be seen.
Fifteen km from Browns Hut, Perry Saddle is reached. The Perry Saddle Hut was built in 2013 and is the last word in DOC huts. It has solar lighting, double-glazed windows, gas-cooking facilities, fresh water, toilets and a wood fire. Perry Hut and other new huts (MacKay and Heaphy huts) on the Heaphy are the most modern and well-appointed huts anywhere in New Zealand.
Flocks of alpine parrots, Kaka, and Kea can sometimes be seen in the vicinity of the Perry Saddle Hut, and great spotted Kiwi can occasionally be heard at night.