An overnighter at Lake Daniells 

Coming from Motueka back to Chrischurch gave me the opportunity to squeeze in a quick overnighter before the Lewis Pass. Just after springs junction is the campsite and car park for the Lake Daniells track. An easy track took around 1-2 hours not hurrying and with plenty of time to enjoy the green colours and blue waters of the river.

It was pretty cold already so I took all of my warm gear, I also knew the hut was larger than I was used too so the fireplace would take longer to warm.

About five minutes down the track is the sluice box, a whirling of thousands of litres of water underneath a bridge. The glacial colours were stunning especially as some of the autumn yellows were still around.

The track is amazingly wide, graded and benched with ample room and would make a good mountain bike ride, except this is a strictly walking track only. In the summer it is very popular with families and first time trampers.

There were a few waterfalls gushing with the recent rain. The forest was quite good cover for the rain, but the track was still a tad slippery in places. Met a few day walkers from Maruia wishing they were staying the night out here.

Watch for trolls

Reaching the lake, I was stoked to see the rain had cleared and a calm serene view in front of me. The hut was one of the more well equipped ones I had seen complete with new fancy toilets which seperate solid and liquid wastes. The hut itself was large with 24 bunks and a central kitchen and fireplace.  As soon as I saw the coal fireplace I knew I may struggle to get a fire going due to the lack of dry kindling. I had a few fire starters which I mucked around with but everything outside was soaking wet so put on my layers a and settled in for a cool night.

Was super toasty thanks to my sleeping bag combined with my warm clothes. Enjoyed a good book and some solitude away from the busyness of the past few weeks.


Lake Daniells is the sort of place you feel like doing yoga on the pier and then drinking a nice glass of red wine. It is amazingly peaceful of the lake and although an easy hike in, you feel like you are millions of miles away from the outside world.


An easy overnighter to recharge the batteries suitable for all ages and abilities. Would love to go back in summer with some mates !

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