Lake Lyndon / the Mount Lyndon Track
Lake Lyndon is an off the beaten path spot, despite being right next to the main road between Christchurch and the West Coast. What’s there to see at Lake Lyndon? Keep reading to find out, including some incredible views from the Mount Lyndon Track.
The turnoff to Lake Lyndon is located on the main road, around 10 minutes before Castle Hill (if coming from the Christchurch side). A gravel road runs around the left-hand side of the lake and there’s a car park a little way around where you can access the beach. There isn’t a massive amount to see down by Lake Lyndon but it’s a nice spot.
Mount Lyndon Track
The most important thing to say about the Mount Lyndon Track is that it isn’t really a track. There are no signs, and once you get past the first bit there’s no one, consistent track. The views are definitely worth the effort though. To find the start of the track you’ll have to drive around to Lake Lyndon Lodge (easy to see in the distance). The road leading to the lodge is full of potholes, so drive carefully!
The track starts just to the right of the lodge and you’ll see it heading up the hill directly behind the lodge. From there keep on walking until you get to the ridge. Once up there the track mostly disappears, and you’ll have to continue up through the tussocks towards the right. Mount Lyndon is part of the Korowai/Torlesse Tussocklands Park – I’d never heard of it before and it seems like this is the best hike there. There are some narrow trails to follow (people mountain bike there) but as long as you keep heading up it shouldn’t be too challenging.
Beautiful views of Lake Lyndon
After a little while you’ll come to a clearing with an amazing view over Lake Lyndon and the surrounding mountains. If you’re only after a short walk this is a great place to stop (you could probably get there and back in 90 minutes).
I decided to tackle the summit, leaving the bag (and water) with Gia at the viewpoint. It looked close but after a little while I realised it was further than I thought. I had no water, the weather was closing in and it was getting difficult to find the track (three excuses should cover it), so I headed back down. Apparently it takes 3-4 hours return and the views seem like they’d be great at the top — let us know if you’ve done it!
Other things to do nearby
Lake Lyndon is a good place to stop when driving through Porters Pass / Arthurs Pass. There are other options though, including Castle Hill, the Cave Stream Scenic Area and Lake Coleridge. If you’re looking for a similar (but even more scenic) hike nearby check out the Peak Hill Track above Lake Coleridge — it’s one of the most underrated hikes in New Zealand!
Are you planning a trip to the mountains of New Zealand? Check out our post about some of the best spots to see in the Southern Alps!
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