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Lawrence River


The Lawrence River is a major tributary of the Clyde River and drains the Jollie and Arrowsmith Ranges. It provides access to the highest peaks of the Arrowsmith Range from Mt Gould to Pito Peak, including Red, North, Jagged, Upham, and Couloir. It also allows access to the easiest route on Mt Arrowsmith itself which, at over 2700m, is the highest peak in the range. The head of the Lawrence River is dramatic, confined and ringed by steep mountains, but it is rarely visited despite being the site of some of the harder routes in the range. Loose rock is ubiquitous on peaks of the Arrowsmith Range and all gullies and faces are subject to frequent debris fall.

POINT (170.906239 -43.394695)

Lawrence River access
The Lawrence River is reached from Erewhon Station. Permission to cross station land should be obtained from Colin and Christine Drummond (phone 03 303 9739) and details left in the intentions book at the homestead.
Access by 4WD is possible to Hermitage Hut and vehicles can often be taken as far as Outlaw Stream. The 4WD track heads across farmland to the Clyde riverbed. The track is regularly washed out in the Clyde River area : ask at the homestead for the latest conditions. Once at the entrance to the Lawrence Valley, the track can be picked up either on the terrace by Erewhon Station Hut or in the riverbed itself and remains on the true right of the valley as far as Bush Basin. There is a turn-off to Lawrence Hut, along which vehicles should backtrack to rejoin the Lawrence River. The track is indistinct in places but crosses to the true left, where it is well-defined on the terrace by Hermitage Hut. The route continues as far as Moses Creek but is rough in places.
When travelling on foot, the Lawrence tributary and/or braids of the Clyde River should be crossed shortly after reaching the riverbed, to avoid a section of steep riverbank abutting the river. If the river is not crossable here make a tedious sidle above the river, in and out of gullies on the true left, taking care not to drop down to the river too soon. Continue into the Lawrence Valley and, in low water, follow the riverbed, crossing to the true left where the river is confined by old moraine. Travel is generally fine with no fords until past the junction with the stream draining Butler Saddle.
Erewhon Station Hut (originally called McRaes Hut, private)
Lawrence Hut (DOC) : A six-bunk hut in good condition.
Hermitage Hut (Erewhon Station) private.
Lawrence Bivouac (DOC) : A basic two-person tin bivvy.

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Type Name
Mountain Mt Arrowsmith
Mountain Jagged Pk
Yvonne Cook and Geoff Spearpoint,
in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club