Lake Sylvan

This easy day walk feels like a stroll through an enchanted forest

A flat walk starting at the Lake Sylvan DOC campsite. As you get deeper into the forest of tall red beech trees and moss covered ground, let your imagination run wild – it seems the perfect place for Orks, Hobbits, and Centaurs to be running about! The track winds along to Lake Sylvan, home to brown trout and small native fish.

From the viewing platform you can see Mt Earnslaw  and there are many little beaches along the lake edge to the right of the platform, just follow the narrow paths through the trees to access them.

You can come back the way you came or return via the 1920s tramline loop.  The loop track takes you through regenerating beech forest and is an Operation Ark site where Department of Conservation staff are working to protect the endangered yellowhead/mōhua. This track is also the entry point for longer overnight trips to Sugarloaf Pass and Rockburn and Beasburn huts.

For those interested in fishing, the lake edge is heavily forested so a pair of wading boots can be a great help for accessing the margins and allow anglers to wade some distance on the sandy bottom. Patient fly anglers who are careful with their back cast can experience some great fishing on a warm summers day casting to cruising fish. Spin anglers using small Mepps spinners and Rapala type lures can often enjoy high catch rates.

View track description on the Department of Conservation website