Dust off your hiking boots and discover remote high country lakes, beech-clad mountains, wide rivers and hot springs.
This remote scenic park provides a safe haven for rare species and is renowned for its rewarding multi-day hikes. All the routes involve river crossings and some navigation skills, so both previous hiking experience and suitable equipment are required.
The Saint James Walkway (five days) is suitable for beginners and experienced trampers. It features native beech forest, sub-alpine terrain and open high country farm land. There are comfortable huts for overnighting. Harper Pass Track (three to four days) leads through the lowest crossing over the Southern Alps, Harper Pass, and on past hot springs. This route was the main pathway for Maori trading pounamu (jade). Later it was an important stock route and gold rush track.
Devilskin Saddle Track (two days) begins up the attractive Nina River valley near Lewis Pass. There is one hut, a bivouac and good swimming holes in the river. Situated on a rise with a spectacular view, the hut is a good place to spend the night. From Nina Hut the trail continues via Devilskin Saddle and Sylvia Tops to complete an excellent round-trip.
Lake Man Track (two to three days) is suitable for more experienced adventurers. The beautiful mountain lake is at an altitude of 1500 metres near the Lewis Pass highway. The track starts from the Boyle River valley. Jolliebrook circuit makes a good two-day hike with a choice of three huts. The trail leads up the Hurunui River, over a low saddle and down the Jolliebrook hunting block.
Lake Sumner Forest Park lies 100 kilometres northwest of Christchurch between the Lewis Pass and Arthur's Pass National Park. It is accessible by road along the Hurunui River Valley from the nearby townships of Waipara, Hurunui, Culverden and Hanmer Springs.
For more information on exploring the Lake Sumner Forest Park, visit the DOC website or speak to the friendly team at the Hurunui i-SITE on 03 315 0000.