This pleasant walk in the Nina Valley as far as Nina Hut was a plan B on our first trip to the Lewis Pass area, as low cloud made put us off our planned mountain ascent. Almost 6 hours in beech forest was a bit much for me, but it was very pleasant forest, and a couple of sections of the Nina River were picturesque too. My photos proved reasonably popular amongst friends and family on Facebook, so I guess that is a vote of confidence in the scenery on offer, but of course look below and judge for yourself.
I’d read that this valley is considered the most attractive in the Lewis Pass area, however it doesn’t compare to the likes of the Routeburn in Mt Aspiring National Park. Nina Hut looked very neat, and I eventually (2022) returned with colleagues to stay there overnight, although the hut was quite full and I stayed in my tent. Plus there are tracks going further afield in various directions, so it could be a base for further exploration. Or you could go half way to the gorge/river crossing and see most of the walk highlights. Track notes at the end.
Nina Valley to Nina Hut: The Scenery
The track is obvious the whole way and mostly flat. It will take about 5-6 hours return at a steady pace. Note that it was pretty muddy in many places in winter. More information on walks in the Nina Valley on the DOC website, and also info on Nina Hut. It could be done as a long day trip from Christchurch, but we were staying in nearby Hanmer Springs.