Packhorse hut, Murray Lane
Image: DOC


The Packhorse Hut is an awesome day walk destination or one of your first overnighters as a family in an amazing location! Come to check out the epic views down to Lyttelton Harbour or marvel at the geology.
  • Check out the historic Packhorse Hut, one of several built for a proposed summit route from Christchurch to Akaroa in the early 1900s.
  • Walk up through the regenerating forest and listen out for the bellbird/korimako, fantail/pīwakawaka or the cheeky grey warbler/riroriro.
  • Can you find evidence of these hills being part of a volcano? Look at the volcanic dykes at the top of the hill and imagine what this would have looked like if they hadn’t blown their tops. 
  • Enjoying the view with a well-deserved picnic is encouraged.

Getting ready

Download the adventure map (PDF, 2,765K) and check out what you can do.

Know before you go

  • 1 hr 40 mins up to the Packhorse Hut and 50 mins to one hour down back to the carpark
  • It moves from a gradual incline to steeper sections and good footwear is recommended
  • The Packhorse Hut is a bookable hut and you can extend your adventure overnight by booking online
  • Toilets at the top
  • There is ongaonga (native stinging nettle) off the track, please stay on the track
  • No dogs allowed on site

What to bring

DOC Day Hikes gear list

Go and explore

Look out for the Guardian Post when you get there. On it you'll find a special code word - write it down.

Getting there

Take SH75 to Kaituna Valley Road. Turn left into Parkinsons Road approximately 6 km up the valley. Park near the road end where the track starts. This offers much more secure parking than Gebbies Pass.

Claim your reward

Tell us the Packhorse Hut code word to receive a Kiwi Guardians certificate and medal for this adventure.

Put the medal on your back pack or pencil case to show everyone the adventure you've had.

Each Kiwi Guardians place has a different medal - see how many you can collect.

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