Doubtful valley tracks & routes
Image: Ronnie Penny | Creative Commons
Doubtful Valley Track follows the Doubtful River to Amuri Pass with two huts on the way. The Lake Man and Devilskin Saddle Routes branch off this track.
Time: 2 hr
Take care with river crossing; cross the Boyle River then follow the poled track on the true right of the Doubtful River across open flats to the bush. Here, pick up the track to Doubtful Hut.
Time: 1 hour 30 min
Continue up grassy river flats and sections of track until you reach the Doubtful–Doubtless confluence. Cross the Doubtful River and then the Doubtless River to reach the Doubtless Hut on the true left of the river.
Time: 2 hr
From the hut, cross the Doubtless River and follow the track for about 10 minutes to a junction. Follow the track up the Doubtful River, crossing after about 20 minutes to the true right. The track follows the river to cut across Phantom Flat. At the top end of the flat, the track climbs steeply to the bushline. An old pack track crosses Amuri Pass.
This trip links the Doubtful and Hope valleys. The new section of Te Araroa by SH7 (Tui Track) now makes this a 2–3 day round trip. It can be walked in either direction, but is easier to start from Doubtful valley.
The tramp is recommended for experienced trampers; there are river crossings and the middle section over the Doubtful Range is rugged – the section from Pussy Stream to the ridge is very steep.
Time: 1 hr
The Lake Man Track junction is off the Doubtful Valley Track - between the Doubtful and Doubtless huts.
Time: 2 hr 30 min
Route follows the true left of the Kedron River for a short distance before climbing through beech forest. After about an hour the track levels out and sidles above the Kedron River for about 30 minutes. Lake Man Biv is reached after a steady short climb through small alpine clearings.
Time: 4 hr
Route climbs above the biv for about 20 minutes to the bush edge. Follow the poled route for about an hour over a low tussock ridge to the western slopes of the middle tributary of Pussy Stream. Then follow the marker poles to the last pole situated at subalpine level on a steep narrow ridge. Descend the steep ridge to the large orange marker at the bush edge and further to reach the middle tributary of Pussy Stream. (NB: Near the bottom of the ridge the route turns sharply left down a narrow track. Don’t overshoot this turn as from this point the ridge takes a near vertical drop to the stream).
Follow Pussy Stream to the bush edge at St Jacobs Flat in the Hope valley, and then across tussock flats on the true left of Pussy Stream to the Hope River. This section is unmarked with numerous stream crossings. Cross the river to the Hope Valley Route. From here it is about 30 minutes to the Top Hope Hut, or an hour to St Jacobs Hut.
This track links the Doubtful and Nina valleys via Devilskin Saddle. It can be walked in either direction, but it is recommended you walk it from the Nina valley.
This track is suitable for experienced trampers and combines mountain beech forest, river flats and an alpine saddle crossing.
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.
There is a car park by SH 7 - approximately 5 km further on from Windy Point and 5 km before Boyle Village. Leave vehicles at your own risk.
There is no bridge over Boyle River from this access point, but the swingbridge at Windy Point (approximately 2 hours walk) can be reached via Tui Track if the river cannot be crossed.
East West Coach Services run daily between Christchurch and Westport – 0800 142 622.
Atomic Shuttles run Christchurch to Nelson and Nelson to Christchurch daily. Ph +64 3 349 0697; freephone 0508 108 359 www.atomictravel.co.nz
Further information and transport bookings can be made at the Hanmer Springs i-SITE Visitor Centre.
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