The lush forest opens to a distant view of the Heaphy mouth. This day may be done in two sections or an overnight option at Mackay is possible. Check with your guide as to your route.
In the morning you will leave the Gouland Downs, and gently wind your way up and over to the edge of the Mackay Downs, then onto the Mackay Hut for a lunch break. Here you will have glimpses of the Tasman Sea and tomorrow's destination at the Heaphy mouth.
If you are overnighting at Mackay, a visit to the 'tops' above the hut is an afternoon option. Expansive and panoramic views around the mountains and out to the Tasman Sea, may be viewed.
If continuing to Lewis Hut today, you encounter a different flora habitat once again, with the banks along the track covered with mosses and a huge diversity of other plants. The geology changes to granite country with wonderful outcrops. You will descend to the Heaphy valley floor. The track winds gradually down through ever changing forest with new species being added constantly, until the first nikau palm appears and the forest takes on a jungle like appearance. The Lewis Hut is situated on the confluence of the Heaphy and Lewis Rivers (from Saxon Hut to Lewis Hut is 24km, 7 - 8 hrs hiking).