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Sam Summer's Hut Walking Track

Just fifteen minutes drive from Queenstown on the beautiful scenic road to Glenorchy, the Mt Crichton Loop track to Sam Summer’s Hut is a walk that is perfect for the reasonably fit, with a sense of adventure.

Experience classic high country native bush, breathtaking alpine vistas, and get a window into the mining history of the area. It’s a great walk for the whole family! 

 

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The trail starts with a gentle climb through towering beech forests where your constant companion is the sound of water tumbling through the steep ravine below. Your experienced guide will open your eyes to the hidden water races and piles of tailings, pointing out evidence of gold mining days past and the spectacular cliffs carved out by the sluice guns of ambitious and hopeful men. A slight diversion from the main path takes you through a 20-metre tail race tunnel laboriously chiselled out of the rock in an astonishing feat of human endeavour.

In a clearing, you will come upon Sam Summer’s Hut (seen above). Built of shist and tin this quaint building tells the story of depression era miners. Sam Summers spent ten years living and prospecting along 12 Mile Creek. Now used as a basic hiker’s shelter, it provides a raw perspective into a miner’s life.

As Senior Guide David Furniss puts it,

“at the hut, you feel what it was like for those pioneers. And as you hear the stories of gold hidden in the surrounding rocks, you can maybe understand where they mustered the determination and fortitude to move all that dirt, and cut through rocks in the cold to one day strike it rich.”

Nearby, an idyllic waterfall plunges into a limpid green pool marking the trail up and out of the forest. Native Tu's and Bellbirds reward your efforts with their song as you make your way out of the treeline and onto a ridge with spectacular views of Lake Dispute and Wakatipu.

This is an unmissable and secluded walk that is very close to Queenstown. You also have the option to extend to take in Lake Dispute and Moke Lake.

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