Lyndon Saddle and Helicopter Hill...

Lyndon Saddle and Helicopter Hill - Craigieburn Forest Park

Lyndon Saddle and Helicopter Hill

Craigieburn Forest Park

Your Nature Guide

Marios Gavalas's avatar

Marios Gavalas

Author And Researcher

Nau mai, haere mai

Nau mai, haere mai

I'm Marios, delivering the best of Aotearoa's nature walks to your device.

I've personally walked hundreds of New Zealand's tracks and spent months in libraries uncovering interesting information on New Zealand/Aotearoa. And you'll find a slice of that research on this page - enjoy!


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Views from Helicopter Hill


5.6 km return | 4 hours return

Views extend over the entire basin between the Craigeburn and Torlesse Ranges, with the turrets of the inclined karst limestone beds standing like lines of sentries on the ridges. The Torlesse Range, with its curtains of scree veiling the mountain sides lie opposite the sub alpine herbfields of the summit plateau. A primo viewpoint.


The start of the track is signposted from the Craigeburn Picnic area 150 m along Broken River Ski Area Road.


After crossing the wooden footbridge over Cave Stream, follow the Mistletoe Track, sometime called the Lyndon Track. You are heading for Lyndon Saddle first.

The track narrows and starts to climb progressively through the mountain beech forest. Occasional resting benches peek out through the forest and you pass a section of cleared conifers before arriving at Lyndon Saddle.

Take the right fork, signposted to Helicopter Hill. This rockier track is steep in places and after 15 minutes arrives at the summit.

There’s an open sub-alpine and tussock area on the summit (1256m). Perfect spot for a picnic.


The greywacke here is easily eroded and forms huge scree slopes on the flanks of the mountains.

The limestone was formed around 30 million years ago from successive layers of marine organisms, mud and sand, which were compressed, heated and then uplifted at the same time as the Craigeburn and Torlesse Ranges. Once surfaced, the weathering agents of wind, water and frost have sculpted the rounded forms of the karst landscape.


The American coniferous natives now spread like wildfire and measures are in place to limit their spread through DoC and local community groups.


Feature Value Info


South IslandCanterburySpringfield


  • Walking
  • Free


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DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner