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The Lady Lakes, Canterbury

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The Lady LakesBeginner - Intermediate

Info Info
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Trail Information







Back country - remote

Out and Back

Undulating, small hills only

Native bush
Plantation/exotic forest
Open tussock/grasslands

Beginner - Intermediate

2:30 (Slow)
1:45 (Moderate)
1:15 (Fast)



The track beyond Lake Ida to Lake Catherine is closed for lambing/calving in October and November

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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.

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Features of interest

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

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 2%

Moderate Single Track: 45%

Easy Single Track: 50%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 3%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

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  • Access

    Take Coleridge Rd off SH77, continue to Homestead Rd and then Harper Rd. The trail start is marked with a DOC sign as Ryton Track about 100m before Lake Selfe.

    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



  • Staying Safe


    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.

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