This 7km section of the Heaphy Track
starts with a rough downhill section through scrub and native bush before emerging onto the spectacular Gouland Downs with expansive tussock plains, distant mountain ranges, and granite rock outcrops. This section of track is currently being upgraded to suit intermediate riders.
Along the way, you pass the famous tramping boot post, which has had a collection of tramping boots and other tramping equipment that have been attached to it over the years and provides a fun photo opportunity.
The historic Gouland Downs Hut is about halfway to Saxon Hut. Although an older style hut, it has been tastefully renovated and has more character than the newer huts. Near the Gouland Downs Hut, a grove of beech trees adorns a limestone outcrop that contains several caves, arches, and caverns that are well worth exploring. Kiwi are often heard at night around Gouland Downs Hut.
There is a long-drop toilet, fresh water and a great old-school fireplace here, but no lighting, or gas-cooking facilities.