Lake Coleridge - Methven Mt Hutt Guide NZ

Lake Coleridge Area Walkways

There are a range of easy walks around the Lake Coleridge Village (including an historic walk with self guided walking notes and map) and longer day and multi-day hikes on public tracks in the Lake Coleridge basin.

Lake Coleridge Area Walking Tracks

Trailrace Track

Distance: Loop track, 30mins
Classification: Easy
River views, power station and village history. Start at the post office and walk down Kowhai Drive to the cemetery and the Rakaia River lookout. Follow the Tailrace Track back to the power station and village.

Around the Village

Distance: Loop track, 1 hour
Classification: Easy
Start at the post office and follow the pink markers past Lake Coleridge Lodge, down Harper Place, through a bush gully, down the road then up to the village hall and playground. Nearby the track continues through the Arboretum Extension to the cemetery and along the Tailrace Track ending at the power station and the village.

Hart Arboretum Tree Trail

Distance: Loop track, up to 1 hour
Classification: Easy
The arboretum is well known for the wide variety of conifers from all over the world. Pick up a Tree Trail brochure at the entrance to learn about some of the trees.

Forest Loop Track

Distance: Loop track, 45 mins
Classification: Moderate
Views down onto the power station, Rakaia River and the village. Start at the Hart Arboretum and follow the yellow markers. Track has steep up and down hill sections.

Walk to Lake Coleridge

Distance: 10km/2.5 hours return
Classification: Moderate
Views of the power station, Rakaia River, the village and the lake. This is part of Te Araroa National Walkway. Start at the Hart Arboretum and follow the orange markers. Near the lake you can choose to follow Lake Hill Track (see notes below) or continue down Intake Road to the lake edge and power station intake.

Lake Hill Track

Distance: 2 hours return
Classification: Easy
This track starts 500m before you reach the Power Station Intake. The track takes you down to the lake and then around the lake edge (beware of boggy sections), exiting on Homestead Road. If you stop at the lakeside, the return trip takes about 1 hour. Great views of the lake. Part of Te Araroa National Walkway.

Peak Hill

Distance: 3 – 4 hours return
Classification: Hard
This is the walk for spectacular views! The start is marked with a DOC sign on Algidus Road, about 10 minutes’ drive from Lake Coleridge Village. You cross a paddock then have a steep uphill climb to a ridge before a more gradual ascent to the summit (1240m) where you get 360° views of Lake Coleridge, the Southern Alps and the Rakaia and Wilberforce river systems. Good shoes and reasonable fitness are a must. This walk is exposed to high winds so best done on a fine and calm day.

Dry Acheron

Distance: 2 – 10 hours return
Classification: Moderate/hard
This track begins about 10km before Lake Coleridge Village with a car park and DOC sign on Coleridge Road. Follow orange markers across farmland with some stream crossings. After 1 hour a 10 minute side track takes you to Clay Valley Covenant. After another hour a 30 minute side track takes you to Conical Knoll Covenant. The main route continues another 2 hours to climb Big Ben (back country tramping experience required). Return on the same track to the car park.

Lake Lilian

Distance: 6 hours return
Classification: Moderate
This walk starts near the Harper Diversion and follows Te Araroa National Walkway along the Harper River. Near the junction of the Harper and Avoca rivers follow the orange markers along a fence line parallel with the Avoca River before turning inland to secluded Lake Lilian.

Lake Ida

Distance: 2 hours return
Classification: Easy
This track starts between Lakes Evelyn and Selfe on Harper Road. Follow the orange track markers through low-growing alpine plants around the base of Little Mt Ida. When you reach Lake Ida note where the track exits the trees to find it again to return home. The track and lake can be icy in colder months. The walk is about 6km return. Spectacular views of this hidden alpine lake.

Lake Catherine

Distance: 4 hours return
Classification: Moderate
Follow the track to Lake Ida then use the small rock dam crossing Lake Ida and continue onto Lake Catherine. The track to Lake Catherine is marked with orange
track markers but only moderately formed in places and crosses some swampy areas and river tributaries.

Hamilton Hut

Distance: 6 hours one way
Classification: Hard
For experienced trampers only. This section starts near the Harper Diversion. Look for the orange Te Araroa markers which take you up a track alongside the Harper River, which you cross a large number of times. You can continue from Hamilton Hut to Arthur’s Pass via the Cass Lagoon circuit. Part of the Te Araroa National Walkway.

Lake Coleridge Area Walkways Information & Map

  • More info: Collect a Lake Coleridge Walks map from the Methven i-SITE Visitor Centre.
  • Please note: There is limited or no mobile coverage in the area and no shops. Respect private property, keep to marked tracks and camp only in designated locations. Do not disturb stock and leave gates as you find them. Fires, dogs and firearms are prohibited. Be prepared for changeable weather including the odd snow flurry on higher ground even during summer. Take suitable footwear, a warm layer, rain jacket, plenty of water, a hat and sunscreen. Always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.