Wild Things - New Zealand's trail running community
New Zealand's trail running community


don't have an account?

Craigieburn Tops, Canterbury

Trail Directory proudly supported by Further Faster

Update Your Header Picture

Craigieburn TopsIntermediate - Experienced

Submitted by Emily Oliver

Info Info
Map Loading

Trail Information






Castle Hill Village

Back country - remote



Native bush
Open ridges/tops

Intermediate - Experienced

Not Suitable (Slow)
6:00 (Moderate)
4:00 (Fast)



Download PDF Guide

Fastest Known Times (FKTs)

Please set your gender to see your position on the FKT leaderboards.


Show more


Show more

Filter FKTs

The more , the harder the FKT will be to beat. Learn about Fastest Known Times.

Missing your time?

Register or login as a VIP and get yourself on the FKT leaderboard!

Register Now


Only take this route if you are confident on scree!

Start with a cruisy warm-up along Dracophyllum Flat Track for just over 3 km. Look out for the turn-off to Cuckoo Creek Track on your right and head straight uphill for about 2 km until the track joins Mt Cheeseman Skifield Road. A bit of a slog up the gravel road, or cut the switchbacks by scrambling straight up.

The road ends at the lodge, so find your way up the gravel slopes of Mt Cheeseman Skifield (follow the ski lifts) until you get to the top, where you'll see a sign for Mt Cockayne. Turn right and head along the ridgeline, lots of scree sliding and scrambling fun. The ridge is very exposed and dangerous in windy conditions, play it safe if you're unsure.

You'll be on the ridgeline for about 6 km. Follow your nose over a couple of peaks towards Broken River Skifield, pass the top of the ski lifts at Nervous Knob, then it's a climb to Hamilton Peak, the highest point at 1920m. There's a bit of track to follow from the knob but it soon disappears. Over the peak is Craigieburn Skifield. Leave the ridge and follow your nose down the skifield slopes towards the Whakamaru Day Lodge, then down the access road for a couple of switchbacks, looking out for the start of Craigieburn Edge Track heading right.

It's off the road and into native bush along this track, which sidles along the contour line for some great stretch-out running after all the scree scrambling! About 3.5 km you'll meet the Lyndon Saddle Track - leave the Edge Track and take the Lyndon Saddle Track uphill until you meet a trail junction (where you can do an out-and-back detour up to the top of Helicopter Hill if you're extra keen). From there, blast down The Luge until you hit the Broken River Skifield Road. Turn right and it's about half a km up the road until you're back to the car.

Trail Community

Find people who are interested in this run.

You must register or login to view this content.

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 25%

Moderate Single Track: 60%

Gravel Road: 15%

Route Data


You must register or login to view this content.

Overlapping Runs

The following trails overlap with this run to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate Strava activity for each


You must register or login to view this content.

Your Trail Wishlist

All the runs that are on your To Do list (no limit).

Add to wishlist view wishlist

Your Trail Dreamlist

The runs you most want to do (limited to 10).

Add to dreamlist view dreamlist

Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    From SH 73, head up Broken River Ski Area Road until you reach an intersection with the access road to the Environmental Education Centre, where the Dracophyllum Flat Track starts.

    Park on the edge of the gravel road leading towards the Environmental Education Centre.

    11 km

    15 minutes



  • Staying Safe



    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, Cellphone, Map, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions), Gaiters.

    No water on route, carry everything you'll need.

    Snow-covered in winter. Snow on the ridge possible any time of year, check weather forecast and be prepared. Exposed to cold winds on tops at any time of year.

    Scree slopes

Got a favourite trail? Tell us about it.

Share the love and add your favourite trail(s) to our growing trail directory.

Submit A Trail

Become a member today

Start enjoying the many benefits to becoming a member of our thriving community.

Become a member

Great brands at great prices with our VIP member's discount

Stay up to date

Sign up to our newsletter for latest offers and trail guides

Share this trail with a friend:

VIP Membership

Please register as a VIP or login to your VIP account to view this content.

Cancel Login Register

Membership Required

You can see up to three trail guides without being logged in but after that we require you to be logged in to your Free or VIP account. If you don’t yet have an account you can register here.

Login Register