A visit to the Nina Valley, Lewis Pass Scenic Reserve
|NZDA Palmer Lodge and the red beast|
Day One: NZDA Palmer Lodge to Nina Hut
|Nina Valley: Palmer Lodge to Nina Hut|
|Nina Track entrance on SH7|
|Swing Bridge over the Lewis River, Nina Valley Track|
|DOC track board near Lewis River swing bridge|
|The Nina Valley intentions book box|
|Nina Valley Track on the true right of Lewis River|
|View down the Lewis River from the Nina Valley Track|
|Nina Valley Track: Climbing a river terrace|
|Nina Valley Track: The swamp|
|Crossing unnamed side stream on Nina Valley Track|
|Nina River and the scratch DOC camp site|
At one point the track drops down to the river for a short while, loads of great camping spots in this valley, if that was your interest. This is now (2017) a very basic back country camp-site: i.e.. no toilets, fire pit or other structures.Just space!
|Looking downstream on the Nina River|
|At the foot bridge over Nina River|
The track to Upper Nina is a lot rougher, with three un-bridged stream crossings, it does not get the same amount of traffic as the track to Nina Hut.
|Nina River foot bridge|
|Nina Gorge from the bridge|
|Down stream of Nina foot bridge|
|Heading up the true right on the Nina Valley Track|
|River flat along Nina Valley Track|
|Start of climb to Nina Hut on the Nina Valley Track|
|Nina Valley Track: Goblin Forest 20 minutes from the hut|
|The Grand Duchess and Duchess Stream|
|Two minutes from Nina Hut|
ablaze by this point.
|Nina Hut (2002)|
|Nina Hut and its ridge top clearing|
|Having a brew inside Nina Hut|
|Nina Hut: the sleeping platforms|
|Looking down Nina Valley from near Nina Hut|
Bold, artistic, such composition...yes, yes!
|Nina Hut: View east towards SH 7|
|The Grand Duchess Massif from near Nina Hut|
|Nina Hut wood shed and track to Devils Den Biv|
|Mt Norma Range at end of Nina Valley|
|Nina Hut: the kitchen area, table, fire box|
|Nina Hut: Not enough seating for 10 people!|
There were only three of us in the hut overnight, myself and an older couple (late 60's) who came over from the Doubtful Valley via Devilskin Saddle (6-7 hours). They were hardcore: the next day they were going to Maruia Springs via Mt Boscawen and the Rough Creek Route (about 8-9 hours walking).
A very quiet night, with Morepork and Kiwi calling out to each other across the valley. There is a kiwi recovery program in the Nina, DOC, Hurunui College and a local wildlife group have reintroduced kiwi to the valley after a more than 20 year absence.
Day Two: Return to Palmer Lodge
|Nina Valley Track: heading for SH 7|
|Nina Valley Track: Interesting light in the forest|
|Crossing one of the larger side streams on the Nina Valley Track:|
|Nina River from the Nina Valley Track|
There is a lot of power in the Nina River, I would think long and hard before trying to swim in it or ford it. The above rapids have squeezed the river from 50 metres to less than 20, it was really loud!
|Nina River foot bridge|
I struck a group of 8 (very ill equipped) Brazilian tourist's near here who were going up to the hut for a day trip, the only people I saw the whole way.
|Nina Valley Track: crossing no name creek|
|On the Nina Valley Track, looking down on the Lewis River near the track end|
The Nina Valley is quite beautiful, I would recommend it to anyone as a great place to visit. My reservations: that you realise the track is a bit rough (expect mud and roots/rocky terrain). Also there are a couple of stream crossings, they were fine this trip but could be problematic if it was raining hard.
Miscellaneous: Some side streams may be impassable in heavy rain. Check the intentions book at the Lewis River bridge to see how many are at the hut.