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
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.