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Sweet Sinclair Summit, Canterbury

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Sweet Sinclair SummitBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Stephanie Berry

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Very hilly

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

Beginner - Intermediate

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



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This is 99% easy to navigate. Simply follow the marked 4wd track Te Ara Pataka as it zig zags its way up towards Mt Sinclair.

Approx 1.4kms in you will meet the junction with the track coming up from Montgomery Reserve. Hop over the stile and continue your climb. You will pass through the amazing Totara graveyard and then into regenerating bush. Take some moments to soak in the amazing views out across Lake Forysth and to imagine the amazing Totaras as they would have been when standing.

At about 3.8kms you will cross yet another stile and Pegasus Bay will come into full view. Another 300 metres along the track at 4.1kms (ish) you need to keep an eye out for a tall dead tree on your right. Directly opposite this is on your left is an old not so obvious 4wd track. You need to head up this a climb through the fence. Approx 100m up this track you need to veer right and start making your way through the bushes and spear grass to the summit. There is a track but it isn't very obvious.

It's about another 200m to the summit. Soak in the amazing views out to Lake Ellesmere to the south, the Southern Alps to the west, Akaroa Harbour to the east and the magnificence of Pegasus Bay, the Kaikouras and beyond to the North. When you've refueled then turn around and retrace your steps back the way you came.

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Features of interest

Native reserves, Totara graveyard ... the remains of giant Totara trees that were felled over 100 years ago and still lie where they fell. A reminder of humans' destructive power and the strength of Totara as a timber.

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 7%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 93%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Pettigrews Road about 500 metres off the Summit Road on the bend. Look out for the DOC sign in the paddock.

    Enough parking for half a dozen cars.

    21 km

    16 minutes



  • Staying Safe


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

    Keep an eye out for that dead tree on your right. If in doubt just head to the summit ... the wild deer make tracks through the bushes all the time so as long as you head in the right direction you'll get there eventually.

    Generally good.

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

    No water available

    Closed during lambing. Check the DOC website for specific dates.

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