No Exit, Dingleburn Station

No Exit roads can be frustrating for those seeking new adventures, especially those roads that lead to spectacular places you can’t get to because they are most likely on private land. It can be a hassle trying to track down the owner and asking for permission to explore etc. All you want to do is discover new places…

The jaw-dropping road into the 7000-acre Dingleburn Station on the northern shoreline of Lake Hawea is one such “No Exit” road. Yes, it's accessible on foot via a DOC track but for those less able but no less adventurous it can be a challenge to experience.

Up until the mid 1950’s the only access to Dingleburn Station was by a single packhorse track around the Lake Hawea. When a dam was built across the Hawea River in the mid 1950’s the level of the lake rose taking out the packhorse track and leaving only boat access to the property.

The owner at the time, Ian Sarginson, decided road access was essential for the future success of the property however in his way was approximately 1 km of vertical rock face straight into Lake Hawea. Much to the condemnation of his peers; some said they would either do it, go broke, kill themselves trying or most likely all three!

The first hand-drilled rock was blasted into the lake in 1958 and for the next 5 years workers poured their blood sweat and tears into completing this mammoth task often hanging from ropes over 50 m above the lake. No modern safety gear lead to many of these workers developing emphysema at a relatively young age from dust in their lungs from working in these brutal conditions.

Today the road remains much as it was when completed, an incredible feat of perseverance and madness. It’s not a road for the faint of heart with its tight corners, limited passing opportunities and jaw-dropping cliffs. This has to be one of the most spectacular No Exit road experiences in New Zealand.

Jaw-dropping No Exit private road into Dingleburn Station.

If you want to experience this road for yourself and you don’t fancy the hike in then get in touch. We are lucky enough to have private access to Dingleburn Station. Join one of our expert local guides for an adventure to remember travelling this incredible road. We throw in opportunities for walking, incredible scenery and the enjoyment of a relaxing picnic lunch on the shore of Lake Hawea. With us you can explore many new exciting places “No Exit” roads that would otherwise be unavailable to the general public. Click here to see our Dingleburn Safari and Hike trip.

Top Photo: View from the Silver Island Bay walking track.

Posted by: Mark Orbell - Ridgeline Adventures @ 12:53:56
Mon, 14 September 2020

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