Last Updated: 2nd Jan 2024

Intermediate - Experienced

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Poulter River Ranger

Arthurs Pass, Canterbury

Submitted by Brad Spiers

Last Updated: 2nd Jan 2024

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done

Grunt Factor: 94 ?

Gnarl Factor: 57 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush



Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +8.2%

Average Downhill Gradient: -8.5%


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Estimated Times to Run

Not suitable






This run takes the Binser - Andrews Route (see also Andrews-Poulter Circuit) as a base and adds a return trip to Ranger Biv.

You run over Binser Saddle to the Poulter River. Follow the farm track up 10 km to the old Casey Hut site. Cross the Casey River and continue up the Poulter River for 2 km, cross the Poulter aiming for Fenwick Stream. At the beginning of the gorge in Fenwick Stream there is a track on the true right. Head up this track, on a thin ridge, and through thin beech trees to Ranger Biv. The biv is in the tussock near a small tarn.

Head up the tussock behind the biv for about 5 mins and get some great views over the Upper Poulter River (you can see out to the flats opposite Minchin Stream). You are now at the half way point or thereabouts. Ranger Biv is an out of the way place. The hut book is original. I was there 10 years ago with a mate tramping. It was about 6 months until the next visit after ours. This Biv has been cared for by Honora Renwick and Frank King. They've cut the track, and made minor repairs to Ranger over the many years. Get Up There! Head back down to the old Casey site, and follow the Andrews Valley Track back to Andrews Shelter via Casey Saddle.

Explore the Upper Poulter River, and visit the remote Ranger Biv.

Good parking areas.

25 km

22 minutes




Moderate level of navigation required to find Fenwick Stream. If you've got back country experience, and take a map you'll be fine.


Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Compass, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries, Gaiters

Water freely available. Just make sure you have some before you head up to Ranger. Except for the lower Poulter, it is all mountain streams, so safe to drink. The tarn at Ranger should be filtered or boiled.

This would be very extreme in winter. I would recommend it being a spring / summer trip in good weather.

There are no huts in Andrews valley, and none accessible in Poulter (except for Trust Poulter, which is about 2.5 km up valley from Fenwick Stream).

River crossings of minor streams, and the Casey and Poulter Rivers. Autumn or Winter and wet weather. Pick good calm weather.

Trail Legend


Brion Matthews

has completed Poulter River Ranger once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Lovely route. Ranger Biv is a great explore and definitely adds a star to the Andrews-Poulter route in my opinion. While my objective was to take it slow, the offshoot added around 3.5 hours for me, so be aware that this part of the route is the slowest travelling. Great directions in the route description.

Brion Matthews

May 15, 2023

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