Te Ara Pataka track between Port Levy Saddle and Mt Herbert
Image: Murray Lane | DOC
Note: DOC no longer manages the track from Orton Bradley Park to Mt Herbert.
5.7 km one way
Closed for lambing 8 August – 15 October.
This track is part of the Te Ara Pātaka/Summit Walkway.
From the Port Levy Saddle car park follow the marked farm track (punctuated by pine forest and old stands of remnant tōtara) to a steep tussock slope that leads to the summit of 'Little Mt Herbert' (913m).
From there head north-west along the plateau through tussock grassland to reach the summit of Mt Herbert (919m). Take great care in misty weather to follow the orange markers along the 1 km plateau between the two summits. You may encounter cattle grazing along the way. Give them space as you walk.
Both summits have radio and mobile phone towers and it can be confusing to know which you are on. Facing Lyttelton Harbour, Mt Herbert is on the left, and 'Little Mt Herbert' is on the right.
The Port Levy Saddle car park is at the top of Western Valley Road. This steep, narrow gravel road connects Little River to Port Levy. It is not suitable for campervans or towing vehicles,and can be difficult for 2WD vehicles after heavy rain. The parking area here also provides easy access to the Rod Donald Hut.
You can also access this section of Te Ara Pātaka from the Packhorse Hut to Mt Herbert/Te Ahu Patiki summit track.
Mountain biking is not allowed on this section of Te Ara Pātaka.
The track is suitable for people with moderate backcountry skills and experience. It's rough and steep in places.
The track is exposed to all weathers. It can be windy, cold and prone to low cloud in poor weather.
Water and toilets are only available at the huts and the Mt Herbert shelter.