Wildlife and views everywhere
We’ll start our adventure with a scenic drive from Christchurch to the start of the hike, showing you some of the stunning countryside Canterbury has to offer.
Once we’ve crossed the first swingbridge on the walk, the track leads through ancient beech forest and over a gentle saddle filled with moss and old, small trees that shade you from the sun. Here, several fantastic lookouts provide a good photo op over our remote backcountry.
Nina Hut is located on a ridge with excellent views of the surrounding area and a fireplace inside for a cosy night. Here, you’ll have time for lunch and an optional Wildlife Tour along the clear Nina River, where I can help you spot endangered whio (blue ducks), curious robins, fantails and the conservation efforts that are happening around here. There is also a very small number of kiwi sightings here, so should we have the right clothing and a red torch ready, we can go and sit quietly at the edge of the bush in the evening; listening out for the telltale call of a southern brown kiwi.
This is a classic trip for me and one I regularly get friends along on that are keen to “get outdoors”. Nina Valley is one many visitors miss out on. As you drive north towards Nelson and Tasman, you’ll admire the stunning views and enormous grace of the Hope River, but you seldom realise the awesome hikes above you in the trees and mountain tops.
This route is a gentle one that gives you a chance to experience the wonderful Lewis Pass area up close. A personal favourite of mine, this will give you enough of the outdoors and physical work to make a drink and dinner at the end of it taste even better.