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Sylvester Hut, Tasman

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Sylvester HutBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Stu Houston

Info Info
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Trail Information





Tasman and Nelson


Back country - remote

Out and Back

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush
Open ridges/tops

Beginner - Intermediate

3:00 (Slow)
2:00 (Moderate)
1:00 (Fast)



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Its a long 1 hour drive from the highway into the Cobb but this trip is a Kahurangi National Park Classic.

The track starts by sidling along the edge of the Cobb reservoir then climbs thru beech forest till you pop out above the bushline onto open alpine tussock where the Hut is located with stunning views. Carry on after the Hut to Sylvester Lake which is a further kilometre - on a hot day this is a great cold swim spot in a beautiful alpine lake. The track is an old 4x4 road so is wide and gravel all the way. For an even better adventure carry on above Sylvester lake to Iron lake - yet another stunning alpine lake with the cliffs of Iron hill above the water. To return from Iron lake back to the Hut climb the hill behind the lake, on the North East side, then there's an old trail that takes you directly back to the Hut. This side trip to Iron Lake adds another 7 km to the total trip but its worth it !!

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Features of interest

Lake views. Beech forest then open alpine tops with stunning views and alpine lakes.

Make Up of Run

Moderate Single Track: 30%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 70%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Turn off State Highway 60 at Upper Takaka & follow the long winding Cobb Valley road into Cobb Reservoir. Cross the dam and park in tiny Sylvester Track carpark.

    No public transport into Cobb. Carpark can only fit 4 cars but plenty of parking down by the Dam.

    50 km

    100 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    If you've found the Carpark the rest should be easy - this is a wide old 4x4 DOC track well marked and sign posted. For the add-on Iron Lake trip you will need a map as there is no actual track past Lake Sylvester, but this is a popular "local peeps" trip so follow the cairns!!

    Very patchy.

    Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map.

    Once you start the climb to the hut there is no water until you reach it.

    In winter the Cobb Road will have snow on it and can be dangerous - take chains !! I went to the Hut in winter - it was snow all the way. I wore spikes on running shoes & it was awesome.

    The road in is long and narrow with big drop offs. This is a fine weather trip the tops can be bloody cold and slips/snow close the road the Cobb is not a place to get stuck !!!

  • Post run indulgence

    wholemeal cafe
    Golden Bay institution you cant not go there !!! the best food and drinks

    All other cafes in Takaka
    Takaka Is New Zealands finest laidback, safe, town !!!!

    Woolshed Cafe
    On Takaka Hill just off on Canaan road
    Stunning location great food drinks funky woolshed.

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