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Pukaki Kettle Hole Track

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From the car park north of the Pukaki dam, walk along the 4WD track into the Pukaki Terminal Moraine Conservation Area. You will see a grassy track that leads off from the 4WD towards the kettlehole. The track loops around the kettlehole and rejoins the grassy track back towards the 4WD and the car park.

The kettlehole was formed by the retreat of the Tasman Glacier. Kettleholes are formed when a large block of ice is separated from the glacier. As the block of ice melts, it leaves a large depression in the ground. Along this walk, you will see interpretation signs concerning the formation of the kettlehole, as well as other glacial activity. 

The movement of the Tasman Glacier over this region is also while you will find yourself walking over moraine tussocks. As a result, the vegetation is relatively young and there is not much shade on this track. The trade-off is that this allows for stunning 360 degree of the Southern Alps looking across Lake Pukaki at Aoraki/Mt Cook, Ben Ohau Range, eastern foothills, and to the south, Mt Benmore.

This information panel is beside a seating area, which is a popular stop for a picnic.

Quick Facts

        • Location: Lake Pukaki, South Island, New Zealand
        • Time needed: 1 hour walk
        • Distance: 4 km
        • Difficulty: Easy
        • Bikes allowed: Unknown
        • Route: Loop
        • Elevation: 30 m
        • Wet Feet: No
        • Toilets: There are toilets at a car park just a few minutes away heading south.
        • Dogs: No
        • Mobile Coverage: Yes, very good
        • Last Updated: May, 2020
  • Track Highlights

    This track offers views of Lake Pukaki and the Mackenzie Basin.

  • Track Quality

    This track follows a 4WD at first, then follows a grassy track.

  • Hazards


  • Transport


  • Water


  • Driving Instructions

    There is a signposted car park off of SH8, just east of the Pukaki River Spillway.

  • Shops or Restaurants nearby


  • Area & Track History

    Lake Pukaki is the largest of the 3 lakes in the Mackenzie Basin, the other two being Lake Ohau and Lake Tekapo. The lake’s iconic deep blue colour is achieved by the finely ground minerals carried in the glacier-fed waters. 

    The kettle hole was created by the movement of the Tasman Glacier.

  • Camping & huts on or near the walk

    No camping on this walk

  • Best Things To Do near this walk

Map of Pukaki Kettle Hole Track

Here is the map for Pukaki Kettle Hole Track showing it’s location in New Zealand. You can change the view on the map to satellite if you prefer to see an image of where the walk is instead.

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