Clutha Hiking and Walking Trails
Clutha offers a wide selection of walking tracks within our diverse countryside, from a short 15 minute walk to something more challenging such as a two-day trek. The following is just a selection. For more information about other walking tracks, guided walks or to find out if walks are open due to weather conditions or tides, please visit our i-SITE or information centre.
John Bull Gully - Drive to Taieri Mouth and turn south at the bridge to get to the track. This moderate walk will take you on a return journey of approximately 3 hours. You will venture through native bush with beautiful views. This track is part of the Taieri Millennium Track, but can be completed as a separate 6km walk. You are able to bike this track.
Taieri Millennium Track – Turn right into Taieri Ferry Road, 4km north of Waihola. Just before the one lane bridge turn right and carry on
to the end of the riverside road where you will be able to park. This moderate 4—5 hour return walk follows the Taieri River through native bush to a picturesque area known as John Bull Gully. You can turn around and return to the start or carry on to Taieri Mouth.
Sinclair Wetlands - Follow the signs from State Highway 1. Sinclair Wetlands is situated between Lakes Waihola and Waipori. This easy walk of approximately 2 hours will take you through the wetlands and give you an opportunity to hear and see native birds and fish species. A tranquil place.
Government Track - From State Highway 1 turn onto Henley-Berwick Road and then turn onto Waipori Falls Road. When the seal road ends, carry on for a further 1km to the beginning of the walk and car park. This moderate walk takes approximately 4 to 5 hours to complete.
Bull Creek Bush Walk - Follow the signs from Milton to Bull Creek. This easy to moderate 40 minute return walk will take you along Bull Creek where you are able to swim, picnic and see some of Clutha’s outstanding ocean views.
Chrystalls Beach to Bull Creek - Follow the signs from Milton to Bull Creek, before you get to Bull Creek, turn onto Chrystalls Beach Road. Once at Chrystalls Beach access onto the beach is available. This easy to moderate walk will take 2 hours return. After walking for approximately 1 hour you will reach Bull Creek. Take in the coastal scenery and look out for the New Zealand fur seal (Kekeno), New Zealand sea lion (Pakeke) and elephant seals.
McNally Track - It begins 2kms out of Milton at the end of Cemetery Road. The challenging 7km return walk will take approximately3 hours to complete. A hilltop lookout 317m above sea level provides magnificent views over Clutha. It is possible to bike from Milton, turning right onto Cemetery Road and following the signs to the lookout.
Mount Stuart Reserve - Just south of Milton on State Highway 1, turn onto State Highway 8. Follow this road until you see signs for Mount Stuart Reserve on your right hand side. Follow this easy going 40 minute return track into native bush. The Stone Viaduct opposite the reserve over Fallaburn Road, carried the Milton- Roxburgh rail line, which opened in 1876, up to the Manuka Gorge Rail Tunnel.
Manuka Gorge Rail Tunnel – Stay on State Highway 8, until you see the sign for the Manuka Gorge Tunnel on the left hand side. This easy going 40 minute return walk will take you to tunnel and its glow worms. An adventure for all the family, just remember to take a torch.
Lake Tuakitoto - A 10-minute drive out of Kaitangata on Lakeside Road will take you to the beginning of this lakeside walk. You will see a selection of native birds - pukeko, the New Zealand shoveler, South Island fernbird, black swan, shelduck and marsh crane to name a few. This easy going 15km loop track takes 3 hours and bikes are allowed to use the track. Please note this track goes through farmland, so remember to close all gates securely.
Weatherstons Track - Travel along Irvine Street and follow the signs for Weatherstons. Follow the clay road over the hill, descending to a ford which is a popular place for gold panning. Approximately 1 hour, one way.
Munroe’s Gully Track - Drive to Victoria Dam at Milburn Pond just off Victoria Road. This moderate going walk takes approximately 2 hours return. Follow the track through broom, native bush and over the stream in several places. It will take you to an old water race which you follow for a short time until you come out in the open. Follow the track up through the pines to a road. Cross the road and turn right down the track past Cornishman’s Dam. Follow it up to Victoria Road and then follow the road 2km back to the Victoria Dam car park. Vehicles do use the road so please ensure you are clearly visible to drivers.
Gabriel’s Gully Interpretative Track - Follow Gabriel’s Gully Road to Gabriel’s Gully where you will be able to park your car. This easy to medium going track takes about 80 minutes to complete.
It circumnavigates this historical area and includes a number of interpretation panels. An easy to moderate 1 hour 20 minute loop walk. There are swimming holes around this track, so remember to take your togs.
The Clutha Gold Trail – This 73km trail can be cycled or walked within 2-4 days, and runs from Lawrence to Lake Roxburgh Dam. It showcases the area’s history of early Maori moa hunters, Chinese gold miners, European pastoral farming, mining and rail. This wonderful trail follows the mighty Clutha Mata-Au River, as it weaves through trees, and traverses the beautiful Beaumont Gorge, before branching off into farming valleys and some sections of the historic Roxburgh Branch railway line, including the 440m Big Hill Tunnel. Dotted along the trail are four small towns that were established during the gold rushes. Each has its own fascinating story and are welcoming places to stop for a meal or the night.
Otago Dam Track - Drive to Greys Dam to begin this moderate 3 hour return walk, following a stream through silver beech forest. There are a number of stream crossings before the track finally reaches open country which provides you with stunning views down the valley. You will reach Otago Dam after approximately 1 hour 30 minutes. Follow the track back to where you began.
Beaumont Millennium Track - Drive from Lawrence on State Highway 8 and stop on the south side of the Beaumont Bridge. This easy to moderate track will take you on a 3 hour return walk leading to the swing bridge, the lonely graves and the old railway line, which is also used by vehicles—please take care.
Tapanui & West Otago
Whisky Gully - At the southern end of the Blue Mountain Walk and a short driving distance from Tapanui is an easy going 15 minute loop track. You will walk through native bush, see and hear bellbirds, fantails and the endangered mohua (yellowhead). For the more enthusiastic walker there is access to a hard going 5 hour return walk up to the summit of the Blue Mountains.
Black Gully Track - The beginning of this track is 13km from Tapanui, at the northern end of the Blue Mountains. Turn right onto Black Gully Road East and to find a car park and a picnic spot. Easy going short walks are readily available and children will love the historic play park.
For the more discerning tramper there is access to a 4 hour return loop track to the top of the Blue Mountains. Huts and campsite are available.
Blue Mountain Walk - This hard going, 6 to 8 hour walk will take you along the ridge tops of the Blue Mountains. You can start at either Whisky Gully or Black Gully; just follow the signs which take you through native bush. On the top you will see tarns and experience a few rocky outcrops. It may be wise to arrange drop off and pickups to complete this walk in one day.
Blair Athol Walkway - Access to this walk is at the back of Naish Park on Charlotte Street in Balclutha. This easy going walk takes 1.5 hours to complete. You will follow the mighty Clutha River/Mata-Au and take in an array of flora and fauna including an amazing display of rhododendrons. You are able to bike this track.
Awakiki Bush Scenic Reserve - This easy going 30-minute loop track can be reached by turning off State Highway 1 onto the Southern Scenic Route at Balclutha. Carry on for 10km and turn right onto Awakiki Road. About 1km down the road is a stile to cross through a farm. Follow the markers leading to the walk where you will be able to see 300 year old Totara trees and view an old homestead.
Sesquicentennial Track, Inch Clutha - Follow the signs to Kaitangata. Just before you enter Kaitangata you will see a bridge on the right hand side, follow the road over the bridge until you come to a crossroads. Turn left onto Telegraph Road, then left onto Centre Road. Drive down Centre Road until you come to a one lane bridge, you will then see a car park that you can use. This track is an easy 90 minute return track which takes you down to the wonderful turquoise blue of the Pacific Ocean.
Purakaunui Falls - The road to the falls is well signposted from the southern end of The Catlins River Bridge. This easy going track will take 45-minutes return. Purakaunui Falls cascade over stony platforms towards a pool below. There are a number of viewing levels with the top level accessible by wheelchair. The surface is made up of hard earth and packed gravel. Toilets at the beginning of the walk do have wheelchair access.
Catlins River Walk - We suggest you get dropped off at the beginning and picked up at the end of this medium to hard going track, as a one way walk will take approximately 6 hours to complete. The well- formed track begins at the camping ground to follow the true left of the river. It can be walked in sections via connecting tracks from the forestry road. However, the road can be very rough and not always suitable for the family car. From the Tawanui end, the first part of the track is through exotic forest which soon gives way to silver beech. Features to look out for include the threatened mohua (yellowhead), especially at the northern end of the track.
Jacks Blow Hole - Follow the signs from Owaka to Jacks Bay. This easy going walk takes 1 hour return. Please stay within the fenced area of the route and respect the access provided by the landowner. The blow hole is in Tunnel Rocks Scenic Reserve and was formed when the roof of a large subterranean cave was eroded by the sea and fell in. Heavy ocean swells create an impressive display which can be seen at high tide.
Nugget Point – Take the coast road from Kaka Point to the Nugget Point Lighthouse car park. This walk is an easy to medium going 40-minute return. The well maintained pathway suits all ages and leads to a viewing platform beside the lighthouse. Keep a look out for New Zealand fur seal/ kekeno, New Zealand sea lion/ pakeke and elephant seals, on the rocks below, It is possible to cycle the 8.5km from Kaka Point to the beginning of this walk, taking in the amazing coastal scenery. Please note there are a number of steep
inclines on the road to Nugget Point, bikes are not allowed on the walking track and there are no toilets suitable for wheelchair users.