Lake Sumner - Jollie Brook tracks & routes
The Jollie Brook circuit starts and finishes off Lake Sumner Road. You can start from either of the two swingbridges over the Hurunui River (approximately 3 km apart on the Lake Sumner Road).
All river crossings between Gabriel and Jollie Brook huts are bridged. There are numerous river crossings from Jollie Brook Hut to the swingbridges. View a map of Jollie Brook tracks and routes
Sisters Stream Track
Jollie Brook swingbridge to Sisters swingbridge – 1 hour
On the river flats of the Hurunui River, a signpost marks the track that f
ollows the true left of the Hurunui River to the Sisters car park. The Jollie Brook needs to be crossed – this may not be possible in high river flows.
Sisters swingbridge to Gabriel Hut – 2 hours
From the swingbridge the track is marked with poles up the true left of the valley. Traverse a series of large ancient river terraces close to the hillside until you reach Gabriel Hut (basic 4-bunk).
Jollie Brook Track
Gabriel Hut to Jollie Brook Hut - 1 hour 30 min
Track leads up Gabriel Stream through beech forest to a low saddle then follows a side-stream to the Jollie Brook. Cross Jollie Brook to reach the hut (standard 7-bunk).
Jollie Brook Hut to Jollie Brook swingbridge - 4 hours
The track downstream from the hut is well marked but there are a few crossings back and forth across the river. When the valley opens out, traverse across grass and gravel flats until you reach the junction with Cold Stream.
After crossing Cold Stream, gravel flats lead to a short gorge. The valley starts to close in, with sections of track appearing intermittently between frequent stream crossings. Eventually the track breaks out onto narrow grassy flats leading to the Hurunui River. Cross the river via the swingbridge just below the Jollie Brook / Hurunui confluence.
Cold Stream Route
Jollie Brook Track - Cold Stream Hut - 1 hour
This route turns off the Jollie Brook Track, about halfway between Jollie Brook Hut and the Jollie Brook swingbridge.
Cross Cold Stream and follow it, crossing several times to reach the hut (standard 6-bunk hut).
Hope Kiwi - Jollie Brook Route
Gabriel Hut to Hope Kiwi Lodge – 5 hours
From Gabriel Hut follow the track to Lake Sumner (about 15 minutes), and then along the north shore of Lake Sumner.The track follows the shoreline but passes through bush in places where access along the shore is not possible.
Cross Evangeline Stream to reach Marion Stream. Follow the track past Lake Marion – a very picturesque spot – and up a hill to meet the Hope Kiwi Track.
From here it is another 1 hour 30 minutes to Hope Kiwi Lodge (serviced 20-bunk hut).
View the Lake Sumner and Lewis Pass access map
Lake Sumner Forest Park lies 100 km northwest of Christchurch between the Lewis Pass and Arthur’s Pass National Park.
From Christchurch, take SH1 north then turn onto SH7 at Waipara. At Waikari, turn left and follow the Hawarden–Waikari Road through Hawarden, to Lake Sumner Road.
If coming from Hanmer Springs, Lake Sumner Road is signposted off SH7 just after the historic Hurunui Hotel.
Lake Sumner Road is suitable for 2WD vehicles as far as Lake Taylor. Lake Sumner Road passes through two privately operated stations on leasehold and freehold land. Keep to the road and do not disturb stock.
Beyond Lake Taylor, the road to Loch Katrine is suitable for 4WD vehicles only.
There are several other 4WD roads in the lakes area which are privately owned by the neighbouring stations: Lakes Station, Lake Taylor Station and Eskhead Station. These private roads are not to be used unless you have permission before your visit.
Plan and prepare
Safety is your responsibility:
- Have the correct and the most up-to-date information
- Take a topographic map if going into more challenging country, i.e. something more than a tramping track.
- Always be prepared for sudden weather changes. Check the latest forecast, especially if any river crossings are required.
- Equip yourself well and prepare for the worst. Take enough food and water and the
- Ensure someone else knows where you are going and when you plan to return.
If staying in huts, fill in the intentions book. This may save your life.
- Dial 111 immediately for any fire emergency.
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