Walking in Paradise

When our TranzAlpine train meets the edge of Lake Brunner, you'll enter a picturesque paradise that is simply perfect for walking and hiking.

With pristine lakeside paths, stunning forest walks, sensational river trails, and spectacular hills providing immense views, there is a walk for every ability, from a short and easy hour, to a full day of glorious outdoors. 

Velenski Walk


Setting off from the western end of Moana Township, the Velenski Walk is an easy stroll through regenerating bush and native forest.

The first stop is a viewpoint with spectacular views across the lake to the Orangipuku valley, flanked by Mt Te Kinga and the Hohonu Range. 

Along the ridge at the top of the track, you'll wander among native trees, including rimu, miro and kahikatea, along with fine examples of pokaka, broadleaf, kamahi, quintinia, toatoa and wineberry.

This short one-way track emerges on Taku Street. 


Rakaitane Walk


Setting off from the car park on Ahau Street, the Rakaitane Walk begins by crossing the Arnold River Kotuku Awa via a beautiful suspension bridge. The views looking up the river and out on to the lake from the bridge are spectacular, but also beneath the bridge there are often trout to be seen.

Turning right, a moderate incline leads you through kamahi forest before rising to a terrace covered in tall slender kahikatea with dense mats of moss and fern adding to the charm. 

The walking trail then loops back through mature podocarp forest and lush groves of tree ferns.



Lake Side Walk


For a relaxing afternoon amble amidst the incredible Lake Brunner scenery, simply cross the Arnold River bridge from the car park on Ahau Street and follow the shoreline around the lake.  

Along the way, you'll enjoy native forest and sandy beaches. Take lunch at one of the picnic areas and paddle in the pristine waters.

It really is an easy and reinvigorating way to while away the day.


Arnold River Dam Walk


Venturing farther afield, the Arnold River Dam Walk starts from the hydroelectric Arnold Power Station about 12km north of Moana Township—generating 3.6 megawatts, it's New Zealand's smallest contributor to the national grid. 

Crossing the river on the pipe that carries water to the power house, the track enters a stand of kahikateamiro-rimu forest. Upstream, there is a dramatic view over the dam that diverts water into a tunnel below the viewpoint. Water birds can be spotted in the small lake above the dam, adding to the abundant birdlife commonly enjoyed along the walk.


Bain Bay Walk


Cast off for the far side of the lake by water taxi from Moana for a phenomenally scenic escape into native bush with magnificent views of the lake and old relics of timber mills at Bain Bay.

If the weather is good, then pack your swimming costume and a lunch for a couple of hours of gentle lazing in paradise at the picnic area, which has toilets and changing facilities.


Ara o Te Kinga Track


This multi-distance walking track starts in idyllic Iveagh Bay to the west of Moana township. Strolling around the bay is picturesque enough to warrant the trip, but the hiking trail to the summit of Mount Te Kinga is a walk you will never forget.

Starting lakeside, the full walk to Mount Te Kinga summit is a 6-7 hour return and climbs to a breathtaking elevation of 1196 metres. From the top, the views certainly reward the effort.

Less strenuous options include walking to the first viewing point, which is about an hour's round trip; or to the second viewing point, which takes about three hours.


Carew Falls Walk


From the same starting point as the Bain Bay walking trail, heading the opposite direction will take you along a short trail into the forest and on to Carew Falls. 

The walk begins with a gentle climb on a well-formed track through mixed Podocarp forest. As you approach the waterfall, the track climbs more steeply, leading onto the rocks below the impressive falls.


Mount French Walk


Starting approximately 5 km west of the Bain Bay Walk start point on the lnchbonnie-Kumara Road, the Mount French hike is a full-day hike on a rough, unformed trail.

The route is well-marked, passing through mixed lowland Rimu forest. The climb to the summit takes you high into the Hohonu Range at 1305 metres above sea level. On a fine day the views down to Lake Brunner and inland to the Southern Alps reward the effort. 


Camp Creek Hike


Starting from Lake Brunner Road near Poerua, the Camp Creek Hike begins with a 3-hour walk along the stream to the Camp Creek Hut. From there, it climbs very steeply onto a long ridge leading to the summit of Mount Alexander.

After a long and steep climb, the effort is rewarded with spectacular 360 degree views of the region, including the Southern Alps.


Crooked Hike


You'll need landowner permission from R.W. Burgess (phone +64 3 738 0177) to walk this trail, but it is well worthwhile.

The Crooked Hike follows the Crooked River up into the Southern Alps. You'll reach the Jacko Flat Hut after around 6 hours and the Crooked Top Hut in around hours. The trail is and is very rough and steep in places, but passes spectacular gorges and rapids, intermingled with deep, blue pools of still water.

How to get to the Lake Brunner walks

You can travel on the world-famous TranzAlpine train to Moana as part of one of our packages or tours, or simply book the train from Christchurch or Greymouth as a day excursion.