Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done

Hackett - Rocks

Nelson, Tasman

Submitted by Dave Hall

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done

Grunt Factor: 74 ?

Gnarl Factor: 36 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote


Very hilly

Native bush


Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +10.6%

Average Downhill Gradient: -10.9%


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Estimated Times to Run

Not suitable






Starting at the Hackett car park it is pretty easy going up to Browning Hut, with just a moderate climb for the last couple of km's. After Browning Hut there is a gnarly 1km up hill & you then turn right & cross over the ridge to head towards Roebuck Hut. A few km's after Roebuck Hut you meet the intersection & turn left & uphill towards Rocks Hut (or right to Middy Hut). From here you have a 4km rooty climb which DOC estimate at 2.5 hours...enjoy! When you reach the small stream you are very near to the hut. Rocks Hut is on the TA trail, so quite a busy hut that sleeps 16. 

From Rocks Hut follow the signs to Browning Hut. This takes you along the ridge-line of the Richmond Range & after an hour or so you come out to the clear open ridges with views back towards Brightwater & Wakefield. You then drop down a steep 1km drop to Browning Hut as you retrace your steps back to the Hackett picnic car park.

If you know of any public toilets near the trail start or on the route, please login and then let us know so we can update this section.

Ample parking at the car park but as it is quite remote cars do get broken in to regularly so park here with caution.

29 km

38 minutes




Around 4km into the run turn left to head towards Browning Hut (not straight ahead to Hackett Hut)
Approx. 1km after Browning Hut take a right turn over the ridge to head towards Roebuck Hut.
Before reaching Middy Hut turn left & head up hill to Rocks Hut.


Short-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map

Water is available the entire way excl. the final 4km up hill to Rocks Hut.
There is no water between Rocks & Browning Hut, but is plentiful after that.

The track is pretty good year round. If there has been a lot of rainfall it will make river crossings difficult.
The first km or so after leaving Rocks Hut is generally quite muddy, but after that the track is in good condition year round.
If there is heavy rain it will make the river crossings after Browning Hut difficult/dangerous

Wasps are plentiful in summer

Rocks Hut Cup of Soup
Rocks Hut
Nothing better then a cup of Chicken Soup after a long day at the office

Trail Legend

Kate Annan

Kate Annan

has completed Hackett - Rocks once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

I consider myself at intermediate level and it took me 9.30 hours as described. Several fallen trees, many river crossings, take it into account in case of rain. In my opinion the worst part is between Totara Saddle and the Rucks/Middy Creek Hut turnoff. Very rooty and not really runnable (in places barely walkable).

Massimo Nember

November 17, 2019

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