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Macs Knob via Hope Kiwi Lodge, Lake Sumner Forest Park

Climbing Macs Knob, resplendent in its winter coat. Lake Sumner beyond. Photo: Shaun Barnett/Black Robin Photography
Total Ascent
3-4 days
Hope Kiwi Lodge (20 bunks, $15), Hope Halfway Hut (6 bunks, free)
From Lewis Pass Road (SH7)
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Macs Knob via Hope Kiwi Lodge, Lake Sumner Forest Park (gpx, yo 59 KB)
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An island-like mountain rising from the broad valleys of the Hurunui River, Macs Knob is not the sort of summit you might be drawn to in summer. But coated in winter’s residue, it stands out, and the top provides outstanding views of this part of the Southern Alps. The 1435m summit offers a direct line of sight up the Hurunui to Harper Pass, and the surrounding mountains.

After crossing the swingbridge over the Boyle River, the first 500 m of track crosses through a public access easement over Poplars Station pastoral lease land before entering public conservation land. Keep to the track and do not disturb stock.

Ffollow a vehicle track that climbs through mānuka and tussock. At the forest edge, pick up the track across terraces high above the riverbed. It eventually drops to the Hope Halfway Hut.

From the hut the track goes through beech forest to reach the valley floor. Follow the poled track up the valley floor to Hope River swingbridge. From here, Hope Kiwi Lodge is 30 minutes away, via the poled Hope-Kiwi Track across open terraces and through sections of forest.

Beyond the Hope-Kiwi Track, which skirts Macs Knob’s base, there’s no track up Macs Knob, but the beech forest is relatively open and easy going, even when steep – and there are several spurs to choose from. Camping is possible on the gentle rolling tops, and there are multiple choices for the descent – perhaps directly to Three Mile Stream Hut.

Note: Route to the summit of Macs Knob shown on the map below is approximate only.