Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

The Lady Lakes

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

Save Trail Save

I've done it Done

Grunt Factor: 22 ?

Gnarl Factor: 29 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Out and Back

Undulating, small hills only

Native bush

Plantation/exotic forest


Open tussock/grasslands

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +6.0%

Average Downhill Gradient: -6.0%


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Estimated Times to Run







The track starts with a stile, follow the orange track markers through low-growing alpine plants around the base of Little Mt Ida to the hidden alpine Lake Ida. The track goes through a stand of pine trees just before you reach the lake. Note where you exit the trees to find the track home again. The track can be icy and the lake can freeze in winter.

From the lake shore use the small rock dam crossing Lake Ida to continue on to Lake Catherine. The track is marked with orange track markers uses a portion of farm road but is only moderately formed in places and crosses some swampy areas. Watch out for a right turn to a plank over a creek and then an obvious point to crawl through a fence to avoid getting bogged in raupo!

The trail turnaround is at the willow trees you can see ahead so make your own way over with the help of some sheep tracks. Then follow your steps back to the start.

Magnificent mountain setting, alpine plants, crystal clear lakes, classic South Island high country stations. Trout fishing in summer and ice skating in winter.

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Homestead Rd and Harper Rd are gravel but wide. There is plenty of off road parking at the trail start or 100m further on at Lake Selfe. There's no public transport. In summer the area is popular with fishermen so folk are around but it is always sensible to make sure your vehicle is locked and no valuables are visible.

61 km

92 minutes




The track to Lake Ida is easy to follow but it gets a bit more sketchy towards Lake Catherine with some untracked but still poled route.


Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map, Gaiters

No official water sources but the creeks and lakes are sparkling.

Typical of high country areas the weather can change fast. There is no cover from wind, rain or sun. Winter will be icy but you could skate on Lake Ida.

There are some boggy bits in places even in summer and if you take the kids with you watch them very carefully around the lake edges.

Trail Legend

Christian Couper

Christian Couper

has completed The Lady Lakes once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

A nice little trail with some fun sections and lots of high country lakes to visit. Choose a light wind day and keep an eye on the trail markers that become a bit scarce after Lake Ida.

Christian Couper

October 23, 2023

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