Walks and tramps


Reefton walks brochure

Looking for information about walks and activities you can do in the Reefton area? Have a look at the Reefton brochure for information.


This brochure introduces walks and activities that a visitor may wish to try when visiting Reefton and its environs. The area can be explored using a range of walking opportunities such as short walks or tramping tracks. The walking opportunities in this area are located in or around the Victoria Forest Park. A network of tracks is available; many resulting from historic mining activity and on many of them there are mining relics to see as you walk through regenerating forest. Other tracks will offer you stunning river, lake and mountain scenery. The area also has many ecological areas. You can also walk around the town of Reefton to discover old historic buildings and you can drive to mining communities such as Waiuta and Blacks Point to explore our historic heritage. As with other walks on the West Coast, the walks around Reefton can be affected by the weather so it would pay to check at the Reefton Visitor Centre for the most up to date track conditions.

Short Walks

Reefton Historic Walk

A thirty minute walk around town. Starting from the Reefton i-SITE Visitor Centre and passing twenty four historic buildings, many dating from the 19th century. These include shops, churches, lodges, the courthouse and the Reefton School of Mines. There is a brochure guiding you around this walk, but it is very dated and currently being updated.

Bottled Lightning Powerhouse Walk

A forty minute loop walk starting from the Reefton i-SITE Visitor Centre. It starts on Broadway heading out of town towards Black's Point to a swingbridge over the Inanagahua River which gives access to the powerhouse site. It was that New Zealand's first public supply of electricity was generated in 1888. You then return to town by Rosstown Road and across the main highway bridge back into Reefton. Although the remains at the powerhouse site are very run down now there is currently a working party who are underway with plans to hopefully have the powerhouse up and running (or in a semi original state) in 2012.

Alborns Coal Mine Walk

A one hour and thirty minute loop walk begining at a carpark 9km up Soliders Road (on the way to Big River) which is just South of Reefton off SH7. Scattered amoung old coal mine workings are means of makeshift winch equipment, including an old Leyland lorry. Other features are distinctive 'coal measure' vegetation and views of the Victoria and Paparoa Ranges. You can also see a tiny section of the new Globe Mine.

Tawhai Walk

A ten minute loop walk located just South of Reefton on SH7. Starting from a picnic area below the Reefton Saddle there with tap water and a toilet, the track is suitable for wheelchairs and goes through beech/exotic forest. There is a high chance of a native robin joining you as you walk through the bush.

Waiuta Swimming Pool Walk

Located in historic area of Waiuta this fifteen minute return walk starts from the information area. It leads down to the old town pool (which was Olympic size in its day!), incongrous amid regenerating bush. Mine buildings and foundations can be visited on the return leg.

Waterfall Walk

This short twenty minute walk is located 8km East of Springs Junction on the Lewis Pass Highway (SH7). A short, bridged walk through spectacular red and sivler beech forest to a fourty metre high falls.

The Sluice Box Walk

This is a ten minute walk at the start of the Lake Daniels walk/Marble Hill camping area. The sluice box is a narrow slot gouged into a marble outcrop by the Maruia River.

Alpine Nature Walk

This loop track is twenty minutes and at the start of the St James Walkway, it leads through an alpine wetland, with views of Gloriana Peak on the Spenser Mountains.

Cannibal Gorge Bridge

This first section of the St James Walkway only takes two hours return and provides a scenic descent to the Maruia River and Cannibal Gorge Bridge.

Day Walks

Waiuta Day Walks

Waiuta has a three short walks (1.5 - 2hours) that can many people combine into a days walking and looking around the historic area. The Town Walkis a one hour thirty minute round trip starting from the information site and the heading along the Top Road. This walk passes the Blackwater mine, settlement and recreation area. Historic photos depicting the town are interpreted along the walk.

The Prohibition Mine and Ball Mill Walk

Is two hours return. "Pro Road' winds up to the top of the country's deepes mineshaft (879 metres) and foundations of the ball mill where quartz was ground to extract gold. Therer are fine views from a 580 metre altitude. Part of the return journy can be either made via the miner's short-cut track, which leaves the road just below the mine.

Snowy Battery Track

is a two hour and thirty minute return walk - it is a well formed down hill track that leads you to the remains of a massive gold extraction plant, including large cyanide tanks and machinery foundations. The return journey can be by either: returning by the track in, following the water race from the battery to the powerhouse site then up a gentle graded track to Waiuta, or from the powerhouse crossing the river to Hukarere Road for a prearranged pick up

Waiuta - Big River

Waiuta to Big River (or Big River to Waiuta!) takes between three and half to give hours depending on your level of fitness. The track in Waiuta is sign posted from "Pro Road" and it follows an old  benched pack track. Passing the Big River South Mine, water race and battery site in Sunderland Creek and other old mining sites

Big River to Inagahua River (Suspension Bridge

This six - seven hour tramp from or to Big River links with Golden Battery Track and the Inangahua Swingbridge Picnic Area is more difficult than the above (Waiuta-Big River) espically in wet weather. However rewards include fine views and forest changes plus historic realics including coal mine trams, sawmills, hut sites and a quartz battery.

Inangahua Suspension Bridge

The other end of the walk mentioned above from Big River. You can do a shorter version for just two hours return up to the Progress Water Race or six hours return to the Golden Lead Battery. A swingbridge crosses the Inangahua River to a good track which follows the disused water race, occasionally crossing side gullies via steps, to end at the Deep Creek-Inangahau Rvier confluence. Then those walkers with more time on their hands can continue onto the Golden Lead Battery or onwards to Big River (six - seven hours one way).

Murray Creek

This extensive track system starts at the Murray's Creek Carpark in Black's Point, 2km East of Reefton on the Lewis Pass highway. Access can also be gained from the Lankeys Creek and the Waitahu Valley. The round trip takes five hours and encompasses the Inglewood and Ajax gold mines, Chandlers open-cast coal pit and the site of Cement Town. Relics include mine shafts, a steam winch, boilers and a stamping battery. Walked anticlockwise the track climbs gradually, but descends quite steeply from the Ajax site to rejoin the main track.

Lankey Creek Tram Track

This track takes two and a half hours one way, you can either start on the Murray Creek and branch out to the Energetic gold mine site, then climb g to a tram formation around hillsides over looking the Inangahua River to Lankey Creek. In Lankey Creek are old coal and gold mines with remains of winches and a battery. After a steep climb descent the track finishes on the main highway about 3km East of Blacks Point. The end point (or start) is at Crushington and has a small parking area in which you will find the Jack Lovelock Memorial which was unveiled on January 5th 2010 who was auctally born in Crushington before he moved to Otago (a copy of his birth certificate can be found at the Blacks Point Musuem).

Duffy Creek Route

This three hour return (4.4km) track is located on in the Rahu Saddle and heads towards the Victoria ranges. It leads to a large ephermeral lake with fine views of granite cliffs at the head of the valley.

Mt Haast

A six hour return tramp (5km), a two hour climb climb takes you to the bush line on a well marked route (views from this point are good as well!), then another hour along the right-hand ride to the pyramid-shaped peak of 1,587m Mt Haast, providing spectacularviews of the neaby glacial valleys and the Main Divide.

Klondyke Route

There are two routes to this track (the right and left) - the right route or Klondyke Vally route takes two hours (4.5km) and leads you up the valley to a tussock basin enclosed by steep granite cliffs. The left route or the Klondyke Spur route takes two hours and thirty mins (2km) is a steeper climb leading above the bushline onto the ridge, providing spectacular views of the Victoria Range.

Lewis Tops and Lookout

There are two sections to this track the shorter walk to the lookout (fourty five minutes return) or the Lewis Tops branches off (three hours return). You can park for both of these tracks in the St James carpark. The lookout has good views of Cannibal Gorge, Gloriana Peak, the Freyberg Range and the Maruia River before dropping back in a loop through the beech forest. The tops follows a ridge through beech forest to the open tussuck tops.


Overnight Moonlight Tramps

Kirwans Reward

A two or three day tramp starting from the end of Boatmans Road which turns off the SH69 12km North of Reefton. There is a steady six hour climb up a well formed pack track to the mordern Kirwans Hut (12 bunk). For a view of a ruggedy beautiful part of the Victoria Range you can walk fifty minutes up a side track to the the top of the 1297m Kirwins Hill. The next morning you can either head back down the way you came or from the open-cast quartz mine workings near the hut, a steep descent partly follows the line of an old cableway to Lord Brassey stamper battery. From there a track desecnds to Montgomery Hut (six bunks) and a rough four-wheel-drive road leads to Gannons bridge on the Waitahu Valley road which meets the highway 5km North of Reefton. Need times for Kir to mont and then Mont to Kir carpark and Waitahu Bridge.

Lake Daniells Track

Starting at the Marble Hill Camping Area the tramp is six hours return (16km) and popular for over night stays in the Manson Nicholls Memorial Hut (24 bunks) . The track continues past the Sluice Box up the Alfred River, passing through splendid red beech forest to the shallow lake which is good for swimming and has good rainbow and brown trout fishing in season.

Lake Stream Route

This three and a half hour tramp to the hut (7.2km one way). This rough track leads to a small clearing with two small tarns, plenty of camping space and a two bunk hut. From there you can continue on an unmarked track for another fourty five minutes to the bushline and another fourty five minutes to a saddle with views over into the Maruia valley

Lake Christabel

Lake Christabel can be reached from three directions taking two or three days to complete. The most popular entrance in is the Lake Christabel Track which takes six - seven hours and begins about 10 km along Palmer Road, at the Blue Grey River Bridge, and follows the true right bank to the lake. The Lake Christabel Hut is about 30 minutes past the head of Lake Christabel, on the true left side of the north branch of the Blue Grey River.
The next day you can continue on the Robinson River and Saddle Track which has two huts on it. It takes three hours to reach the Top Robinson Hut (8 bunk) via a marked track and snowpole route. It is then another three hours thirty minutres to reach the Mid Robinson Hut (6 bunk) and then another three hours to the end of Palmer Road.
The other track is the Rough Creek Track which takes six hours starting at the base of the Lewis Pass. The track leads up to the bushline, from where snowpoles mark the way through open tussock tops over the Rough Creek Saddle. The poles meet the track down the upper right hand branch of the Blue Grey River above Lake Christabel.

St James Walkway

This track takes five days (66 km) and although the walkway is not difficult in most weather, it is unsuited to inexperienced trampers during winter. It is well-formed track through pastoral and forested sub-alpine regions of the Main Divide, with five excellent huts en route. Ascending a branch of the Maruia River, it crosses the Spenser Moutains via 998m Ada Pass and descends the Ada, a Waiau River tributary, to a junction. Brancing up the Henry and Anne river valleys, the track crosses the Anne saddle at 1136 metres and descends the Boyle River, rejoining the Lewis Pass Highway near the Boyle settlement.

Reefton Goldfields Journey

The Waiuta, Big River, Inangahua Swingbridge, Murray Creek and Kirwans tracks have been linked to firn a five or six day tour of the goldfield. This journey takes in old settlements, minded areas and other relics, it passes through ecological areas and much of the wildlife corridor.


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