Lake Daniell Track

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  • Reviews  93%
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South IslandWest CoastReefton

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.

Photos

Maps

Access

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.

Track

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.

Geology

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.

6 reviews with the most recent first

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 😍

Michelle's avatar

Michelle

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 2 months ago

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Mark's avatar

Mark

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 over 1 year ago and experienced in January 2017

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Rachael's avatar

Rachael

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

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

Reviewed over 4 years ago and experienced in February 2014

Thank You - to the thousands of travellers that have contributed to our Top Voted NZ Activities Map - it's free from Rankers.

Monique Browne's avatar

Monique Browne

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

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

Reviewed over 4 years ago and experienced in December 2013

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Every camping site on your iPhone™, iPad™ or Android™ phone or tablet. Avoid camping penalties using this council approved app. Featuring offline maps.

Download from the App Store Download Android app on Google Play

Helen  Buxton's avatar

Helen Buxton

New Zealand

Ranking: 9/10

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

Reviewed over 4 years ago and experienced in December 2013

Peter Harden's avatar

Peter Harden

England

Ranking: 7/10

Good pathway through forest with a marvellous river crossing!

Reviewed almost 6 years ago

6 reviews with the most recent first

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 😍

Michelle's avatar

Michelle

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 2 months ago

Conservation Campsite Pass

Save up to 70% on campsite fees! Support conservation and experience the natural beauty of NZ. 93 Department of Conservation campsites, one convenient pass.

Get the Pass

Mark's avatar

Mark

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 over 1 year ago and experienced in January 2017

Top Ranked NZ Deals Pass

Access savings worth hundreds of $$ on Top Ranked NZ Accommodation and Activities for just $1 per day.

Get deals pass

Rachael's avatar

Rachael

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

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

Reviewed over 4 years ago and experienced in February 2014

Thank You - to the thousands of travellers that have contributed to our Top Voted NZ Activities Map - it's free from Rankers.

Monique Browne's avatar

Monique Browne

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

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

Reviewed over 4 years ago and experienced in December 2013

Camping NZ App Icon

Camping NZ App

Every camping site on your iPhone™, iPad™ or Android™ phone or tablet. Avoid camping penalties using this council approved app. Featuring offline maps.

Download from the App Store Download Android app on Google Play

Helen  Buxton's avatar

Helen Buxton

New Zealand

Ranking: 9/10

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

Reviewed over 4 years ago and experienced in December 2013

Peter Harden's avatar

Peter Harden

England

Ranking: 7/10

Good pathway through forest with a marvellous river crossing!

Reviewed almost 6 years ago