Lake Daniell Track

Track category

Great Walk/Easier tramping track


3 hr one way


8.4km one way


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.

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From the shelter, the track enters the trees and soon crosses the Maruia River over a deep, narrow gorge called the Sluice Box. From the Sluice Box the track continues up the Alfred River. The track passes through spendid red beech forest until it reaches the lake edge and the Manson Nicholls Memorial Hut (sleeps 24). In front of the hut small jetty juts out into the shallow waters of the lake.

Lake Daniell is within the Maruia Waka Huia special biodiversity area which is a time capsule of what New Zealand once was. Keeping the many rare wildlife and plant species of the Maruia area safe from introduced predators requires a massive conservation effort. You may encounter some of the many predator traps along the way that are part of this effort.

Getting there

Lake Daniell Track begins from the Marble Hill camping area located 5km east of Springs Junction on the Lewis Pass Highway. Turn off the highway onto a gravel road and drive several hundred metres till you come to a shelter on the left hand side.

Family at Mason Nicholl Hut
Family at Manson Nicholls Memorial Hut


Bird and wildlife watching Bird and wildlife watching
Camping Camping
Child/family friendly activities Child/family friendly activities
Fishing Fishing
Swimming Swimming

Mother & daughter at Lake Daniell. Photo: Jack Grinsted
Mother and daughter at Lake Daniell

Birds and wildlife watching

On the track to the lake you may encounter tomtit, rifleman, robin, tui, fernbird, silvereye, grey warbler, bellbird, and even kaka or kakariki.


Camping is possible on the grass surrounding the hut or a little further around the lake in the open forest.


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. There are two bunk rooms in the Manson Nicholls Memorial Hut which can cater nicely for families with young children.


There is excellent trout fishing in the lake.


The lake is shallow and the water is warm enough to swim in during the summer months.

Plan and prepare

Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.

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Related link

Te Maruia Waka Huia Integrated Species Protection Programme


Find out more


DOC maps: Discover the outdoors - DOC's key places, campsites, tracks and huts, and visitor centres on a map


Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

Alerts for West Coast places


Reefton Visitor Centre i-SITE Information Centre
Phone:      +64 3 732 8391
Full office details
Māwhera / Greymouth Office
Phone:      +64 3 768 0427
Full office details

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