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Zampa Traverse, Canterbury

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Zampa TraverseExperienced

Submitted by Nelson Pearson

Info Info
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Trail Information






Hanmer Springs

Front country - easily accessible



Native bush
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops


Not Suitable (Slow)
9:00 (Moderate)
6:00 (Fast)



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From the Lewis Pass Carpark, travel South on the Rolleston Pack Track for 2-3km, where it finishes on SH7. It can be challenging to find the start of this track, but it is well cut once you're on it. Note that as of 2023, the bridges are still out of action. That said, all the creeks can be jumped without a bridge.

Continue South on the shoulder of SH7 for 400m, looking out for a DOC sign marking the start of Foleys Track on your Left. Take Foleys Track up to the bush line then follow the faint trail up towards Travers Peak. The GPX route does not ascend to Travers Peak, but contours North towards the saddle at 1600m elevation before regaining the ridge at the unnamed saddle between Travers Peak & pt 1690m.

Follow the ridgeline North towards Trovatore, dropping off as needed to traverse below rocky sections. The section between Travers Peak & Trovatore is the most technical on the route.

From Trovatore, continue along the ridgeline, past pt. 1723 to 1755, where the trail drops off the main Opera Range & takes the NW spur towards pt. 1724 & Henry Saddle. From pt. 1724, descend the scree sloop to Henry Saddle. Climb North out of Henry Saddle to regain the ridgeline towards Zampa. The upper basins of Zampa have some large tarns that look like good camping spots.

From Zampa, follow the ridgeline North until pt.1681. From here travel North to descend towards Ada Pass along the sometimes narrow spur. From the bush line, bush-bash down until you reach the valley floor, aiming at Ada Pass Hut. Note that the GPX route descends further East than ideal & does a dog leg to Ada Pass Hut. From Ada Pass Hut, follow the clearly marked St James Walkway past Cannibal Gorge Hut to the carpark.

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Features of interest

Views across the peaks of Lewis Pass & Nelson Lakes.

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 44%

Technical Single Track: 7%

Moderate Single Track: 9%

Easy Single Track: 39%

Sealed Road: 1%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    The route starts & finishes at the Lewis Pass carpark & shelter. This is the Northern trailhead of the St James Walkway.

    There is a parking lot at the start/finish.

    0 km

    0 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Start - The start of the Rolleston Pack Track can be challenging to find.
    pt.1755 - don't follow the Opera range, be sure to travel towards Henry Saddle.
    pt. 1681 - be sure to drop off the ridge tops here towards Ada Pass Hut.


    Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Compass, Map, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions), Gaiters.

    Many tarns along the ridgeline. May be snow, depending on the season.

    Much of this route is in the Sub-Alpine, so will require snow skills in winter.

    Weather - much of this route is on a relatively exposed ridgeline. Best to avoid high wind or poor visibility.

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