Ryton Track to Lakes Ida & Catherine, Canterbury NZ

A fairly easygoing walk on the Ryton Track though impressive Canterbury High Country mountain scenery, visiting Lakes Ida & Catherine.

Ryton Track to Lakes Ida & Catherine

The Ryton Track takes you through impressive mountain scenery to Lake Ida, and then Lake Catherine.  Both are nice enough – Lake Ida is in the nicer setting – but neither particularly photogenic. There are also Lakes Selfe and Evelyn at the start which are nice. For me though the highlight was the lumpy topography including scree covered mountains in the Craigieburn Range. It’s a fairly flat walk and not too long, so for relatively little effort you can get a good sample of the Canterbury High Country.

The route continues on up Ryton Valley and it’s possible to climb onto the Craigiburn Range, but that would be a long day walk that we’ll save for another occasion.  

Ryton Track to Lakes Ida & Catherine
The Craigieburn Range with harakeke in the foreground. Taken on the drive in.

Track notes at the end.

Ryton Track to Lakes Ida & Catherine: The Scenery

Ryton Track to Lakes Ida & Catherine
Mt Hennah and Lake Evelyn

 

Ryton Track to Lakes Ida & Catherine
Mt Olympus (2094m) in the background.
Ryton Track to Lakes Ida & Catherine
Lake Ida

 

Ryton Track to Lakes Ida & Catherine
Lake Catherine and Mt Ida

 

Ryton Track to Lakes Ida & Catherine
A panorama looking east.

 

Ryton Track to Lakes Ida & Catherine
Mountains in the Grey Range to the north of Lake Catherine.

 

Ryton Track to Lakes Ida & Catherine
A colourful marsh.
Ryton Track to Lakes Ida & Catherine
My wife Sophia doing her bit for the wilding pine eradication program.

 

Ryton Track to Lakes Ida & Catherine
Mt Olympus (2094m)

 

Ryton Track to Lakes Ida & Catherine
The view east from back near the start.

 

Ryton Track to Lakes Ida & Catherine
Lake Selfe and a bit of Mt Ida.

Track Notes

Ryton Track to Lakes Ida & Catherine
A marked track the whole way to Lake Catherine.

It’s a marked track the whole way, although as you approach Lake Catherine the track kind of disappears and so do the poles, so I wasn’t sure how best to access the shore. I see on this map that the track continues along the base of Mt Ida, but we passed through a wire fence at the last pole and through a couple of farm gates to get to the other side of the lake on a farm road.  Roughly 3-4 hours return. More info on this brochure of walks in the Lake Coleridge area.

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

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