Tarn Hut tracks

Image: Ruth McKie | Creative Commons


These tracks can be combined to form a circuit walk to Tarn Hut.

Track overview

Walking and tramping

2 days Advanced: Tramping track

Dog access

No dogs

About this track


Lees Valley Road to Youngman Stream Hut

Time: 4–5 hr

Follow the Youngman Stream Track to Youngman Stream Hut.

Youngman Stream Hut to Tarn Hut

Time: 2 hr 30 min

From Youngman Stream Hut, cross the Ashley River and follow the track as it climbs a ridge to the summit of Lillburn Hill.

There are spectacular 360-degree views from Lillburn Hill over the foothill forests to Christchurch and the Port Hills beyond.

Tarn Hut is a further 20 minutes along the spur south-west of Lillburn Hill. It is sited next to a small picturesque tarn in open alpine grassland.

Lees Valley Road to Tarn Hut via Lillburn Route

Time: 4 hr 30 min

Lillburn Route provides an alternate access to Lillburn Hill summit and Tarn Hut.

The route turn-off is signposted from Youngman Stream Hut Track approximately 2 hours 30 minutes from the start of the track at the locked gate. The unforgiving route climbs very steeply up a ridge to the summit of Lillburn Hill for 1 hour 30 minutes. Tarn Hut is a further 20 minutes on from the summit.

Getting there

From Oxford, follow Ashely Gorge Road for 6 km. Turn into Lees Valley Road and follow this for 29 km to a sign that indicates the vehicle track. Follow this marked track (it's generally negotiable with two or four wheel drive vehicles) for 3.5 km to a locked gate and car park. Keep to the marked track as this is private farmland.

Nature and conservation

Close to Tarn Hut you can find vegetable sheep. These unusual, squat, hardy plants have adapted to survive the harsh alpine environment by forming dense, flat cushions over rocks.

Know before you go

NZTopo50 map sheet: BV22 (Dampier Corner)

Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.


Rangiora Office
Phone:   +64 3 313 0820
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   esienquiries@doc.govt.nz
Address:   32 River Road
Rangiora 7400
Postal Address:   PO Box 349
Rangiora 7440
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