Lake Daniell Track

Lake Daniell Track

Lake Daniell Track


6 Rankers Reviews

5 Face-to-Face

2 Reefton

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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Manson Nicholls Memorial Hut


17 km return | 4 hours return

An alpine lake encircled by high peaks and dense beech forest. With low-altitude (453-580m), an easy forest walking track, little elevation and a jewel of a lake, this makes for an ideal walk or tramp in all conditions.

This is a great walk for families with young children or those people new to tramping. The track is a well formed bench track that can also be completed as a day walk.


The track is signposted 5 km from Springs Junction along SH7, direction Lewis Pass.

Head to the end of the gravel road and the camping area with toilets.


This formed tramping track has most streams bridged. Occasional treefalls, one unbridged stream (in normal flow you should be able to use stepping stones to avoid wet feet) , many boardwalks and a bit of mud.

The track is a gentle and steady climb through dense beech forest, following the Alfred River to a high alpine lake.

Troll Bridge is the half-way mark to Manson Nicholls Memorial Hut, where there is a jetty and toilets.


At Marble Hill campground there is a concrete wall constructed in the 1960s, right on the Alpine Fault. The idea was to establish a datum for measuring displacement following seismic shifts.

Lake Daniell occupies a glacially eroded hollow between the Alfred and Spencer Ranges. It used to be called Lake Daniells, but the NZ Geographic Board changed the name in 2007.

European History

The hut was built in 1976 by Christchurch Tramping Club & Lake Daniells Fishing Club members. It is named in honour of Phillip Nicholls and Brian & Sharon Manson, who were killed by a landslide in 1974 while sheltering in the old hut on the opposite side of the lake. A fourth member of the party - Bonna Beattie, managed to row and crawl to summon help, but despite her injuries, was too late.


Feature Value Info


DOC West Coast

Central government organisation


South IslandWest CoastReefton


  • Walking
  • Free


Michelle's avatar


Ranking: 9/10

Awesome tramp for families well formed track and great facilities in the hut. Location is stunning and well worth a night in there

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Mark's avatar


New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

An easy day walk, through luxuriant fern and beech forest, ends at Lake Daniell. Stay the night at the DOC hut or return.

Reviewed almost 5 years ago and experienced in January 2017

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Rachael's avatar


United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Very neat pathway, cute little bridge, lovely woodlands, great walking conditions. GO, GO, GO.

Reviewed almost 8 years ago and experienced in February 2014

Monique Browne's avatar

Monique Browne

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Easy walk, bring insect repellent. Big clean hut, big outdoor fireplace.

Reviewed about 8 years ago and experienced in December 2013

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Helen  Buxton's avatar

Helen Buxton

New Zealand

Ranking: 9/10

Magical beautiful walk free. Charge to stay in the hut.

Reviewed about 8 years ago and experienced in December 2013

Peter Harden's avatar

Peter Harden


Ranking: 7/10

Good pathway through forest with a marvellous river crossing!

Reviewed over 9 years ago

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 😍

Cymen Crick's avatar

Cymen Crick