Chain Hills Track, Lindis Valley

Image: DOC


A range of tracks for walkers and mountain bikers alike, in an attractive, upland valley. Easily accessed off SH8 between Tarras and Omarama.

Track overview

Walking and tramping

3 - 15 hr return Advanced: Tramping track

Seasonal restrictions

McPhies Ridge Track: Pleasant Valley carpark and the public access tracks that extend from it are closed for lambing from 10 October to 5 December.

Dog access

No dogs

About this track


Chain Hills and Coal Creek Conservation Area

Turnoff SH8 onto Goodger Road and, depending on the season and road condition, drive along the unsealed road to the Tim Burn or Pleasant Valley carparks. You can walk, run or bike from either carpark, Each has a panel with a map of the area and its tracks. The small Coal Creek Conservation Area protects a native fishery.

Shirlmar Track

Time: 2-2.5 hr one way
Distance: 9 km

From Pleasant Valley, this track heads up the right branch of the Tim Burn to the northern end of the Chain Hills, 1,000 m above sea level, before dropping down into Dunstan Creek.

Long Acre Track

Time: 1.5-2 hr one way
Distance: 7 km

“This track branches off McPhies Ridge Track to head up the Chain Hills before dropping down the other side into Dunstan Creek.

Chain Hills Track

Time: 1-1 hr one way
Distance: 5 km

From its junction with Shirlmar Track, this track undulates south along the tops of the Chain Hills to connect with the Long Acre Track. The Chain Hills Track continues to Dunstan Pass, giving access to the Lauder Conservation Area.

McPhies Ridge Track

Time: 6-7.5 hr
Distance: 25 km

This public easement through private farmland is a route that goes up and along McPhies Ridge. It links Cluden Creek Road to Goodger Road, providing good views of the Chain Hills.

Nine Mile Historic Reserve

The reserve is 6 km down Old Faithful Road and can be reached by vehicle, on foot or by mountain bike. The main focus here is the old stone Lindis Hotel. The nearby Lindis River was the site of Otago's first gold discovery.

Camping is available in the reserve behind the hotel.

Getting there

The Lindis Valley is a 45 minute drive from Wanaka on SH8, between Tarras and Omarama.

The Tim Burn and Pleasant Valley car parks are located at the end of Goodger Road (4WD recommended).

The McPhies Ridge Track can also be accessed from Cluden Creek Road – cross the small bridge over the Lindis River to park at the trailhead.

Know before you go

  • Neither hunting nor dogs are permitted on these tracks and reserves.
  • Fires are not permitted in the historic reserve and campers are asked to take their rubbish with them.
  • The only public toilet in the area is at the Nine Mile Historic Reserve.
  • Access tracks cross private property. Respect livestock and property, leave gates as you find them and use stiles where provided.

Be avalanche alert: This area has terrain that can produce avalanches that cross the track, usually from May into November. View avalanche information.


Tititea / Mount Aspiring National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:   0272696871
Fax:   03 4437660
Address:   1 Ballantyne Road
Wanaka 9305
Postal Address:   PO Box 93
Wanaka 9343
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