Lake Brunner walks

Walks in the Lake Brunner area on the West Coast.


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Velenski walk

Time: 20 min one way
Distance: 600 m one way

Grade: Easy

The track climbs through regenerating bush, branching left to a viewpoint looking down the lake to the Orangipuku valley flanked by Mt Te Kinga and the Hohonu Range.

The main track continues climbing to a ridge of unmodified forest. Following the ridge it passes superb specimens of rimu, miro and kahikatea, along with fine examples of pokaka, broadleaf, kamahi, quintinia, toatoa and wineberry.

The track then descends through the forest to emerge on Taku Street.

Getting there: The track starts on Ahau Street at the western end of Moana township, just past to the motor camp.

Rakaitane walk

Time: 45 min return
Distance: 1.2 km return

Grade: Easy

This short, easy track leads to the stable suspension footbridge across the Arnold River Kotuku Awa. Here, there are panoramic views out across the lake and beautiful forest reflections in the river. Trout can often be seen resting in the current below the bridge.

Turn right over the bridge to follow a track with moderate gradients and a high quality surface that loops through riverside forest with distinct changes on the way.

At first it runs through kamahi forest and rises to a terrace covered in a regenerating forest of tall, slender kahikatea with dense mats of moss and fern adding to the charm. From a viewpoint at the farthest end, the tranquil Arnold River is seen in a setting of massive miro and rimu trees.

The track then loops back through more mature podocarp forest, with groves of tree ferns completing a remarkable botanic succession.

Getting there: Start at the lakeside car park on Ahau Street, beyond the motor camp, on the western end of Moana township.

Lake Side Walk

Time: 60 minutes.

Skill level: Easy.

Across the Arnold River swing bridge then turn to your left. Spectacular views of the lake, mountains with picnic spots on the lake shore.

Arnold River Dam Walk

Time: 45 min loop
Distance: 2.1 km loop

The track first passes the hydro electric power station, which at 3.6 megawatts is the smallest contributor to the national grid.

Crossing the Arnold River on part of the pipe structure that carries water to the power house, the track branches right. Soon it enters a stand of grand kahikateamiro-rimu forest adjacent to the river.

The track climbs to the top of a terrace that is bordered by a sharp u-bend in the river, and the pipeline taking water to the power house passes underneath. The forest was cut over long ago, but some notable trees remain, including multi-trunked rimu and some good sized totara and rata.

From the upstream side of the terrace there is a dramatic view down over the dam that diverts part of the river flow into the tunnel below the viewpoint. Water birds may be spotted in the small lake above the dam, adding to the abundant birdlife commonly enjoyed along the walk.

The track continues to wind around the terrace before descending to the river crossing point again.

Getting there: Start from the Arnold Power Station on Stratford Road, off Arnold Valley Road, about 12 km north of the Moana township.

Bain Bay Track

Time: 2 hours return.

Skill level: Easy.

Starts at the lakeside in front of Lake Brunner Lodge on the southern end of the lake or by water taxi from Moana.

Carew Falls Track

Time: 1 hour return.

Skill level: Moderate.

50 metres from Lake Brunner Lodge starting at the Arnold Dam Power Station. A gentle climb on a well-formed track with a mixed podocarp forest.

Ara 0 Te Kinga Track

Time: 1 hour return to first lookout; 3 hours return to 3rd lookout point, 6-7 hours return to the summit of Mt Te Kinga.

Distance: 5.4 km return (to lookout), 12.4 km return (to summit).

Access: lveagh Bay, Lake Brunner.

A tramping track leads from the picnic area to 3 lookout points overlooking lveagh Bay and surrounding landscape.

From 3rd lookout point, the marked route continues on and leads up to the open tussock tops of Mt Te Kinga

(a good level of fitness is required for the summit).

Mt French

Time: 8 hours return

Grade: Rough terrain, 7 km return

Access: Approximately 5 km west of Mitchells on the lnchbonnie-Kumara Road.

The steady climb to the top of Mt French (1305m) on the Hohonu Range is a full day tramp on an unformed route, but on a fine day the views down to Lake Brunner and inland to the Southern Alps reward the effort. The route is well marked, passing through mixed lowland Rimu forest.

Camp Creek Route

Time: 3 hrs (to hut)

Distance: 3 km (to hut)

Time: 8 – 10 hrs (to summit)

The route crosses the creek shortly before reaching Camp Creek Hut and then climbs very steeply onto the tops and a long ridge leading to the summit of Mt Alexander. Spectacular 360 degree views reward the tramper after a long and steep climb.

Crooked Route

Time: 6 hrs to Jacko Flat Hut, 2 hrs from Jacko Flat Hut to Top Crooked Hut

Grade: Experienced

Access: Permission needs to be obtained from the owner – R.W. Burgess, phone +64 3 738 0177.

The route to Jacko Flat Hut follows the Crooked River and is very rough and steep in places, but passes spectacular gorges and rapids, intermingled with deep, blue pools of still water.

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