Exercise your mind as well as your legs on this three hour loop track. There's a lot to be learned about gold mining here.
Starting at the edge of the road between Queenstown and Glenorchy, the three-hour loop walk to Sam Summers' Hut provides a fascinating glimpse of life as a gold prospector. This area was mined off and on between the 1860s and the 1930s. Relics include a large sluiced canyon and a "tail race" tunnel. In the early days of the gold rush, water was used as a tool to blast gravel off the cliffs. The gold-bearing gravel was then washed through a tail race tunnel. The tunnel you'll see on this walk is spectacular - 24 metres long, a metre wide and 10 metres high.
Sam Summers' Hut is also interesting. It was built around 1930. Sam mined in the area on and off for 30 years. Chinese ceramic relics have been found behind the hut, which is located on the site of a Chinese gold miners' camp. Today the hut provides basic accommodation for hikers and is maintained by the Department of Conservation.
After the hut, the track crosses 12 Mile Creek and climbs up to a ridge overlooking Lake Dispute. From here you can either follow the track back to the car park, or you can follow the fence line on down to Lake Dispute and out onto Glenorchy Road.
The track starts from a car park 12 km from Queenstown on the Glenorchy–Queenstown Road.
Need to know
Mountain biking is not permitted on this track and the link to Lake Dispute.