Gorged section of the Nina River, as seen from the swingbridge
Image: Harley James © 


A swingbridge over the Lewis River gives access to the Nina valley in Lake Sumner Forest Park.

Track overview

About this track


Nina Valley Track

SH7 to Nina swingbridge

Time: 1 hr

Cross the Lewis River via the swingbridge and follow the true right bank for a short section before climbing briefly onto a terrace. The track then heads northwest away from the river and sidles through beech forest above the Nina River. The river is reached after about an hour of walking.  The track continues up the true left of the river to where the Nina swingbridge crosses it.

Nina swingbridge to Nina Hut

Time: 2 hr

After crossing the bridge, the track heads up the true right of the river, gradually climbing to reach the Nina Hut.

Nina Hut. Image: Harley James ©

Nina Hut

Category: Standard
Facilities: 10 bunk beds, heating, mattresses
Bookings not required - first come, first served

Lucretia Hut Route

Nina swingbridge to Lucretia Hut

Time: 3 hr

From the Nina swingbridge (do not cross) continue up true left of the Nina River until you reach Lucretia Stream. Climb over a small gorge before descending to cross the stream. Continue up the true right to reach the hut situated on a tussock flat.

Lucretia Hut

Lucretia Hut

Category: Basic/bivvies
Facilities: 2 bunk beds, heating
Bookings not required - first come, first served

Devilskin Saddle Route

This route links the Nina and Doubtful valleys via Devilskin Saddle. It can be walked in either direction, but it is recommended you walk it from the Nina valley. This trip is suitable for experienced trampers and combines mountain-beech forest, river flats and an alpine saddle crossing.

Nina Hut to Devils Den Biv

Time: 2 hr

The track from the hut sidles through beech forest high above the Nina River.  This section is a little harder to follow, but is reasonably well marked. Gradually gain altitude to reach Blind Stream after about an hour. The track climbs above the true right of the stream and very steeply up a spur. Use tree roots for hand and foot holds to avoid a hidden waterfall. Track then levels out and reaches the old hut site at the tree line. This area is suitable for camping in summer but is avalanche prone in winter and spring.

From here the route continues up the true right of the stream through waist-high red tussock.  This section of track is a route only, with risks of avalanches in winter and spring. Follow marker poles as the route sidles away from the stream and climbs for about 30 minutes to reach Devilskin Saddle where there are good views down both valleys. The new Devils Den Biv is a further 100 m along the saddle.

Note: This area is not suitable for camping. Trampers will need to return to the old hut site if they need to camp.

Devils Den Bivvy.

Devils Den Bivvy

Category: Basic/bivvies
Facilities: 2 bunk beds, mattresses
Bookings not required - first come, first served
Devils Den Biv to Doubtful Hut

Time: 3 hr 30 min

From the hut, follow marker poles down to Devilskin Stream where a track is picked up at the bushline. This track sidles along high on the true left above the stream, through silver beech forest. It eventually descends steeply to the confluence of Devilskin Stream and Doubtful River.

Doubtful River must be crossed here. This crossing could be dangerous during or after heavy rain. Doubtful Hut is situated just downstream on a river terrace. From Doubtful Hut it is a 2 hour walk to cross the Boyle River to reach SH7.

Doubtful Hut

Doubtful Hut

Category: Basic/bivvies
Facilities: 2 bunk beds, heating, mattresses
Bookings not required - first come, first served

Getting there

View the Lake Sumner and Lewis Pass access map

Lake Sumner Forest Park lies 100 km northwest of Christchurch between the Lewis Pass and Arthur's Pass National Park.

Access is off SH7, approximately 50 km after the turn-off to Hanmer Springs and 10 km from Lewis Pass.  There is a car-parking area just opposite Palmer Lodge (private lodge owned by NZDA). Leave vehicles at your own risk. A swingbridge over the Lewis River gives access to the Nina Valley.

Transport services

East West Coach Services run daily between Christchurch and Westport, phone 0800 142 622.

Atomic Shuttles run Christchurch to Nelson and Nelson to Christchurch daily. phone +64 3 3 349 0697, freephone 0508 108 359, Atomic Shuttles website

Further information and transport bookings can be made at the Hanmer Springs i-SITE Visitor Centre.

Know before you go

Safety is your responsibility:

  • Have the correct and the most up-to-date information
  • Take a topographic map if going into more challenging country, i.e. something more than a tramping track.
  • Always be prepared for sudden weather changes. Check the latest forecast, especially if any river crossings are required.
  • Equip yourself well and prepare for the worst. Take enough food and water and the right clothing.
  • Ensure someone else knows where you are going and when you plan to return.
  • If staying in huts, fill in the intentions book. This may save your life.
  • Dial 111 immediately for any fire emergency.


Rangiora Office
Phone:   +64 3 313 0820
Address:   32 River Road
Rangiora 7400
Email:   waimakariri@doc.govt.nz
Full office details
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