Chain Hills Circuit, Lindis Valley, Otago NZ

A circuit through the Chain Hills for front and centre views of one of Central Otago’s most attractive mountain ranges, the St Bathans Range.

Chain Hills Circuit, Lindis Valley

After first seeing the St Bathans Range with a bit of snow on it I had always wanted to visit and see them up close. So it was after plenty of snowfall that we headed out to a walk in the Chain Hills for front and centre views of this classic Central Otago scene. In snow the walk was scenic up on the tops, and felt quite remote for a day-walk of just moderate difficulty. And you can make a circuit of it by taking the Shilmar, Chain Hills and Long Acre Tracks.

We actually did this walk in the afternoon after fitting in a quick walk up to Double Peak from Lindis Pass in the morning. Afternoon light will be better I think  as the sun gets around to shine on the front of the St Bathans Range.  Track notes at the end.

Chain Hills Circuit: The Scenery

Chain Hills Circuit, Lindis Valley
We walked up the valley behind Sophia on the Shilmar Track.
Chain Hills Circuit, Lindis Valley
Just arriving on the tops here, and our first view of the St Bathans Range. Very satisfying.
Chain Hills Circuit, Lindis Valley
I took a lot of shots of the St Bathans Range but am trying to save space on my server so just three for this post.
Chain Hills Circuit, Lindis Valley
Felt remote out there.
Chain Hills Circuit, Lindis Valley
Sophia posing in front of the St Bathans Range.
Chain Hills Circuit, Lindis Valley
A panorama west.
Chain Hills Circuit, Lindis Valley
The southern end of the St Bathans Range.

Chain Hills Circuit, Lindis Valley

Chain Hills Circuit, Lindis Valley
Nice lighting in this photo.

Chain Hills Circuit, Lindis Valley

Chain Hills Circuit, Lindis Valley
Descending on the Long Acre Track, with layers of wrinkly hills in the background.
Chain Hills Circuit, Lindis Valley
Excellent lighting on our way down the Long Acre Track.

Track Notes

Chain Hills Circuit, Lindis Valley
On vehicle tracks almost the whole way, with one section up a spur marked by a few poles. We walked clockwise up the Shilmar Track, south on the Chain Hills Track, then descended on the Long Acre Track, heading north on farm tracks and Goodger Road back to our car.

This route is on vehicle tracks almost the whole way, with one short section up a spur marked by a few poles. It’s on private land but once up in the hills you leave cultivated farmland behind. We walked clockwise from the Tim Burn Car Park next to Goodger Road, up the Shilmar Track, then south along the tops on the Chain Hills Track, and descended on the Long Acre Track, returning to our car on signposted farm tracks and along the road.  Will take roughly 5 hours to do the circuit. 

There’s more information on tracks in the Lindis Valley on the DOC website.

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

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