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Purple Peak Pilgrimage, Canterbury

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Purple Peak PilgrimageBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Jeremy Wheeler

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible


Very hilly

Native bush
Open farmlands
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops

Beginner - Intermediate

2:30 (Slow)
2:00 (Moderate)
1:30 (Fast)



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A great run with amazing views of Akaroa, the wider Banks Peninsula and views of the Pacific Ocean and even the Kaikoura Mountain Ranges on a clear day.

Hop over the stile and take the farm track up Purple Peak Road. Wind your way up the steep hill towards the saddle. Take the turnoff 2/3 of the way up on the Parlpal Shortcut and work your way to the right further uphill towards Stony Bay Peak. As you pass under Stony Bay Peak you will soon come to a sign pointing out the view to the Kaikoura Mountains 200km away. Carry on to the trail junction on the South Side of Purple Peak. Turn left and make your way up to the summit.

Amazing views are to be had from the summit of Stony Bay Peak / Taraterehu (806m) – just a couple of minutes off the main track. Rejoin the track and take your time on the steep downhill to the saddle. Turn right from the saddle, behind Purple Peak and towards Hinewai Reserve where you can join other tracks and make a longer day out if you wish. Well worth exploring Hinewai either today if time permits or at another time.

There is a toilet here for your convenience! Head back up though native bus to the ridgeline and Browntop Saddle. Go along to the Skyline Beech Lookout for a photo snap. Amazing shots to be had at sunset. Follow you footsteps back to Brownstop Saddle and turn right down the farm track in to Grehan Valley passing the turnoff to the historic home of Frank Worsely and past Tree Crop Farm on to Grehan Valley Road. Follow it down a few hundred meters to the track sign of Woodhills South and turn left for one last uphill to close the loop and back to the start of a track that showcases some of the best views Akaroa has to offer!

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Features of interest

Purple Peak, Hinewai Reserve, Tree Crop Farm,

Make Up of Run

Moderate Single Track: 10%

Easy Single Track: 50%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 40%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    To the end of Purple peak road a few hundred meters past the Mount Vernon Lodge.
    Clearly marked with map, gate and styles.

    Parking available at the start of the trail. Only a few km from Akaroa so you can also get here by foot.

    2 km

    5 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .


    Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

    You will need to take your own water.

    Great all year round but it can be very hot in summer and exposed if windy.

    There is a cliff top lookout point. Take care but well worth it.

  • Post run indulgence

    Plenty of options around Akaroa

  • Blog Posts and Articles
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