Black Hill

Black Hill is a 1335m summit in the 11,350 hectare Oxford Forest, which is about 56km north west of Christchurch. The 6 bunk Black Hill hut near the summit offers an opportunity to overnight, although it should be possible to reach Black Hill on a return day trip from Lees Valley.

List Status Official
Elevation 1,335 m (4,380 ft)
Location/List South Island, New Zealand
Region Canterbury
Location Coordinates 43° 10′ 42″ S, 171° 59′ 44″ E
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 1-2 days (return)
Distance 28.0 km (17.4 mi)
Start/End Points Lees Valley or View Hill
Difficulty Help.gif Hard
Sights Views, Huts , Views of Waimakariri gorge, Black Hill hut
Hazards Alpine weather, Snow, Ice , Wasps (Jan to Mar)

Getting There

By Car

The turn off to Lees Valley is from Ashley Gorge Road, about 6km north of Oxford. The Lees Valley Road winds over the hills, over the Less Valley Bridge, and shortly after arrives at Mt Pember Station.

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

There are a few different options for reaching Black Hill:

1. Start from Mt Pember station, and walk for 8.5km along a 4WD track to the confluence of Townsend River and Dobson Stream (which used to be the site of Townsend Hut (now removed)). From here there is a tramping route that climbs up a beech covered ridgeline, and on to Black Hill Hut and the Black Hill summit itself. This would be a 28km return journey, with the options over staying at Black Hill hut.

2. At least one week before you intend to tramp, contact Mt Pember station and request permission to drive past the locked gate, and on to the confluence of Townsend River and Dobson Stream. You will need a 4WD vehicle to drive down this track. This will cut the walking considerably, and Black Hill could be reached in a 6-7 hour return day walk.

3. You could also continue to Wharfedale Hut (10 bunks), and then follow the Wharfedale track to the junction above Coal Creek and Dobson stream. From here turn north up the ridge and on to Black Hill hut.

For more information see:

Height Profile

Black Hill-2d.jpg

Weather and Webcam Links