The phrase ‘hidden gem’ is an overused term, however, those people who have already discovered Mt Lyford; know this to be true.
Located on the inland Kaikoura road, we are just under 2 hours north of Christchurch. Coming from the south visitors pass Amberley, Culverden and Waiau, all of whom have well stocked shops. Kaikoura is about 50 minutes north.
“Discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes”. – Marcel Proust
Journeying up the mountain past the Lodge, the forest drive is a well maintained metal road, leading to the village and Ski field. A regular car can reach the reserve at the top of the village on the main road, however, some of the side roads are 4×4 access only. In ski season please follow local signs regarding chains and access.
Mt Lyford village is set in stunning regenerating bush, with bird life abundant. The charming log houses blend into the mountain scenery. Local walks include Mary’s Track, Irina’s Track and the village loop. Further up the mountain there are some private tracks that charge a small fee to cover maintenance and protect the environment. Please see the Adventure parks website.
Look around in the bush to find Mountain beech trees, Black beech, Totora, Kahikatea, Kowhai, Griselinia, Manuka, Kanuka, Five Finger, Lancewood, Hebe’s, magnificent ferns and many other plant species. Breaking the calm, the call of the Bellbird rings out. You may be also spot a South Island Robin, Fantail or Kereru pigeon.
You’ll find the reserve at the top of the village, with playground, the tarn, toilets and other information.
For snow lovers, Mt Lyford has a family friendly ski field that offers skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing. The field has something for all levels of experience and can provide lessons to beginners. In winter there is a ski shuttle that departs from the village reserve, for those not wanting to drive.
We are at the bottom of the mountain and can’t see what conditions are like on the slopes. Please note that Mt Lyford Lodge won’t be able to advise on ski conditions etc, so please contact the ski field directly as we won’t be able to help .