Lake Emma to Lake Camp

Hakatere Conservation Park

  • 2 hr loop track with a road section
  • Easy

Easy day walk across flat country, visiting an historic hut.

Lake Emma Hut • By matthew. Licence: C.
Lake Emma to Lake Camp: Key information
Walking time
2 hr
Loop track with a road section
Loop track with a road section
This route is flat and poled along its length. Grades explained
No bookings — open access
No — open access
Lake Emma to Lake Camp: Find it
Lake Emma car park, off Hakatere Potts Road
Lake Camp
654m – 720m
Altitude change 66m

This straightforward circuit offers easy walking with grand views of the mountains of the Southern Alps and the Mount Somers Range. The walk is entirely over 4WD track or grassy path, and is exposed to the sun the whole way. You may like to leave a mountain bike at one end in order to save the 4km walk back along the road.

Lake Emma and hut • By matthew. Licence: C.

From Mount Somers, follow the Ashburton Gorge Road to Hakatere. Continue on for about 5km to the marked turn off at left. A shingle road leads down to the car park on the shores of Lake Emma.

From the car park, a 4WD track leads around the northern shore and crosses the lake outlet, tiny Emma Stream. The track wanders over tussocky moraines to the historic hut, pressed up against the flanks of the Harper Range. The 4WD track is open to suitable vehicles in the summer as far as the hut only.

Lake Emma hut • Shelter (DOC).

The historic hut dates from the 1880s. Bunks have been removed. 

Beyond the hut, an old vehicle track leads along the base of the hill. It is well marked with poles. The track eases past the lake and climbs a gentle rise as the distant mountains drop behind the nearby horizon. Soon the track crosses Balmacaan Stream and a thicket of coprosma and matagouri. Across the stream, the route turns sharp right and follows a fenceline. Over a stile, and the route is hemmed in between two fences on an accessway that leads straight down to Lake Camp. 

Return to the car park along the Hakatere Potts Road.

Walking times:

  • Lake Emma car park to Lake Emma Hut: 1 hour
  • Lake Emma Hut to Balmacaan Stream: 1 hour
  • Balmacaan Stream to Lake Camp: 25 minutes
  • Lake Camp to Lake Emma via road: 45 minutes
ID 13466

About this track

Added 13 October 2014 by matthewmatthew. 1 revision 10 November 2014 by matthewmatthew.
110 views in the past year (9 per month).