The Jollie Brook Circuit starts and finishes off Lake Sumner Road, in Lake Sumner Forest Park.

Track overview

Dog access

No dogs

About this track


The Jollie Brook Circuit starts and finishes off Lake Sumner Road, with the option of starting from either of the two swingbridges over the Hurunui River (approximately 3 km apart on the Lake Sumner Road). 

All river crossings between Gabriel and Jollie Brook huts are bridged. There are numerous river crossings from Jollie Brook Hut to the swingbridges.

Sisters Stream Track

Jollie Brook swingbridge to Sisters swingbridge

Time: 1 hr

On the river flats of the Hurunui River, a signpost marks the track that follows the true left of the Hurunui River to the Sisters car park. The Jollie Brook needs to be crossed – this may not be possible in high river flows.

Sisters swingbridge to Gabriel Hut

Time: 2 hr

From the swingbridge the track is marked with poles up the true left of the valley. Traverse a series of large ancient river terraces close to the hillside until you reach Gabriel Hut.

Jollie Brook Track

Gabriel Hut to Jollie Brook Hut

Time: 1 hr 30 min

Track leads up Gabriel Stream through beech forest to a low saddle then follows a side-stream to the Jollie Brook. Cross the Jollie Brook to reach the hut.

Jollie Brook Hut to Jollie Brook swingbridge

Time: 4 hr

The track downstream from the hut is well marked but there are a few crossings back and forth across the river. When the valley opens out, traverse across grass and gravel flats until you reach the junction with Cold Stream.

After crossing Cold Stream, gravel flats lead to a short gorge. The valley starts to close in, with sections of track appearing intermittently between frequent stream crossings. Eventually the track breaks out onto narrow grassy flats leading to the Hurunui River. Cross the river via the swingbridge just below the Jollie Brook / Hurunui confluence.

Jollie Brook Track - Cold Stream Hut

Time: 1 hr

This route turns off the Jollie Brook Track, about halfway between Jollie Brook Hut and the Jollie Brook swingbridge.

Cross Cold Stream and follow it, crossing several times to reach the hut.

Hope Kiwi - Jollie Brook Route

Gabriel Hut to Hope Kiwi Lodge

Time: 5 hr

From Gabriel Hut follow the track to Lake Sumner (about 15 minutes), and then along the north shore of Lake Sumner.The track follows the shoreline but passes through bush in places where access along the shore is not possible.

Cross Evangeline Stream to reach Marion Stream. Follow the track past Lake Marion – a very picturesque spot – and up a hill to meet the Hope Kiwi Track. 

From here it is another 1 hour 30 minutes to Hope Kiwi Lodge.

Hope Kiwi Track junction to Hurunui swingbridge

Time: 3 hr

The track descends easily through the forest and emerges onto the Hurunui River flats; pick up the 4WD track back to the swingbridge here. For more information, see Hurunui swingbridge tracks and routes.

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.

From Christchurch, take SH1 north then turn onto SH7 at Waipara. At Waikari, turn left and follow the Hawarden–Waikari Road through Hawarden, to Lake Sumner Road.

If coming from Hanmer Springs, Lake Sumner Road is signposted off SH7 just after the historic Hurunui Hotel.

Lake Sumner Road is suitable for 2WD vehicles as far as Lake Taylor. Lake Sumner Road passes through two privately operated stations on leasehold and freehold land. Keep to the road and do not disturb stock.

Beyond Lake Taylor, the road to Loch Katrine is suitable for 4WD vehicles only.

Private roads

There are several other 4WD roads in the lakes area which are privately owned by the neighbouring stations: Lakes Station, Lake Taylor Station and Eskhead Station. These private roads are not to be used unless you have permission before your visit.

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
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   32 River Road
Rangiora 7400
Postal Address:   PO Box 349
Rangiora 7440
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