Kaituna valley to Packhorse hut walk

Image: Michael Smeaton | DOC


The walk to Packhorse Hut can be enjoyed as a half day walk but is also a great overnight tramp for families with children and new trampers.

Track overview

4 km

Walking and tramping

1 hr 20 min Intermediate: Great Walk/Easier tramping track

Seasonal restrictions

This track is open year round but all other tracks to/from Packhorse Hut are closed for lambing from 8 August – 15 October.

Dog access

No dogs

About this track


This track is part of the Te Ara Pātaka/Summit Walkway

This well signposted track passes through a farm, following vehicle tracks up a native bush-filled valley.

The track ambles through pasture and then forest, crossing the valley stream several times. In the summer you can use stepping stones to cross, but be prepared to get wet feet if the stream is up after rain.

The track eventually climbs steeply onto a big spur. It then follows the open spur for some distance before reaching a farm track through the Parkinsons Bush Reserve. This leads to the saddle and the historic stone Packhorse Hut, well situated for the views. Packhorse Hut makes a great place for a sheltered lunch stop if completing this walk in a day or an exciting nights’ stay for families or those travelling the Te Ara Pātaka track.

There are great views along the track of Kaitorete Spit and the South Coast, also Lyttelton Harbour, Quail island and the Port Hills.

Mountain biking

Mountain biking is not allowed.

Getting there

Take SH75 to Kaituna Valley Road. Turn left into Parkinsons Road approximately 6 km up the valley. Park near the road end where the track starts. This offers much more secure parking than Gebbies Pass.


Packhorse Hut must be booked year round.

Book Packhorse Hut online or contact the Ōtautahi / Christchurch Visitor Centre.

Read the terms and conditions before you book.

Know before you go

Mountain biking is not permitted on this section of Te Ara Pātaka/Summit Walkway. 

Stinging plants – There are onga onga / native stinging nettle plants in the reserve. These are trimmed back from the track. The nettles are food for native red admiral butterflies, however they do have a very strong sting.


Ōtautahi / Christchurch Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 379 4082
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   christchurchvc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   31 Nga Mahi Road, Sockburn
Christchurch 8042
Postal Address:   Private Bag 11089
Christchurch 8042
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