The lovely lakes of the Hurunui District are a perfect hideaway for rest, relaxation and easy-going adventure. Spectacular lakes nestle in a high country basin. Here you can indulge yourself in some pleasant activities like walking, bird watching, photography, fishing or hunting. ‘Satisfy your thirst for life’ is what the Hurunui District promotions say.
Lake Sumner Forest Park lies 100 km northwest of Christchurch between the Lewis Pass and Arthur’s Pass National Parks. It is accessible by road along the Hurunui River Valley from the nearby townships of Waipara, Hurunui, Culverden and Hanmer Springs. The park embraces a variety of picturesque landscapes, mountains, rivers, beech forests, hot springs and lakes. These include Lakes Sumner, Katrine, Sheppard, Taylor and Mason.
This is primarily a tramper’s park, and the most popular tramps pass around Lake Sumner and lead to the St James Walkway in the Lewis Pass National Reserve. Many of the tracks were formed during the gold rush of the 1860’s. One notable route crosses over the Southern Alps via Kiwi Saddle and Harper’s Pass – the lowest crossing of the Alps.
The Lake Sumner Forest Park lies within The Alpine Pacific Triangle touring route between Christchurch, Hanmer Springs and Kaikoura. Travellers can enjoy a variety of experiences after visiting the park. Nearby Waikari has the fascinating, historic Weka Pass Railway and a walkway that gives access to Maori rock drawings in the Weka Pass Reserve. Hurunui township offers horse treks in the North Canterbury high country. There is a choice of trail rides on Clydesdale or thoroughbred horses with options for multi-day treks, pack trips or covered wagon treks. You can have 4WD adventures, jet-boating and fishing in fresh or salt water. Kaikoura is just a short drive away and is famous as the town where snow-capped mountains meet the sea. It is also well known for its whale watching.
A tranquil lake resting in the shadow of the Southern Alps is the perfect place to lie back and enjoy life.