Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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Hope Kiwi Half

Hanmer Springs, Canterbury

Submitted by Tony Sharpe

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 40 ?

Gnarl Factor: 47 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Out and Back

Undulating, small hills only

Native bush


Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +6.7%

Average Downhill Gradient: -6.7%


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Estimated Times to Run







This is a nice in and out forest/ riverflats run that will bag you a half marathon and still give you time for a soak in the pools at Hanmer Springs should you desire. A very pleasant immersion into the less rugged part of the Southern Alps

Park up by the shelter - note cars do occasionally get broken into here, so don't leave anything valuable if overnighting at the hut or heading further up valley.

Hop the stile by the sign and follow the 4WD trail to the Amuri School Camp area. Follow the signposts down towards the river where you will be greeted with a massive swing bridge across the Boyle. Head on over this and steadily ascend up the farm boundary to the bush clad terraces above. Don't take a wrong turn onto the Tui Trail or else you will end up in the Doubtful Valley, and without a Hope of going the right way today. The Tui trail is in fact part of the Te Araroa link through from Boyle Village.

So head on up into the Hope Valley proper and soon you'll hit pristine beech forest. There are several areas as you head up valley where the red beech is just so massive that you'll want to stop and look around. When you do keep an eye out for the prolific birdlife, especially the ever curious South Island robins, fantails and bellbirds, among others.

The trail to Halfway Hope Hut involves a few small lumps and bumps, and some small river tributaries where you can drink some of the most refreshing water in the world. When we did it the trail was super dry, but in winter or wet conditions expect mud and slippery tree roots at times.

About half way in you'll hit a small open terrace with sweeping views of the mid section of the Hope. Be sure to look across and spot the historic Museum Hut on the far bank from here. Eventually further up the trail emerges into grassy flats where you may encounter some livestock. Carry on and you'll suddenly arrive at Half Way Hope Hut, pretty basic bunks and bench shelter and a bit flystruck, but it is a great spot to overnight if you want and not really so bad. It's really grown in its use since the Te Araroa trail got popular.

From here either retrace your steps for almost exactly a half marathon distance, or if you want extra for experts its about another 7km upvalley to the more modern and serviced Hope Kiwi Hut - a better option for overnighting.

Either way, be sure to snap a selfie on the swing bridge on the way out to show us your Wild Side spirit!

Beech forest
Lots of bird life
Part of the Te Araroa Trail
Views of the Hope Valley
Hope Halfway Hut

Park by the shelter a couple of hundred metres from the signposted turn off

45 km

37 minutes




Trail is well marked, but do tell someone where you are going and pack decent wet/ warm backup gear


Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map

There are several small streams in the beech forest, but do avoid drinking out of the riverflats near the stocked areas

Can be anything up here, in any season. You are above 600m here even in the valley floor

Mud and slippery tree roots in the wet are the main issue.
Weather can be great or dire or anywhere in between- it is the mountains!

Anything in Hamner Springs, half an hour or so's drive

Trail Legend

Jeremy Wheeler

Jeremy Wheeler

has completed Hope Kiwi Half once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

I did most of the run but turned back at 9km in due to weather. Awesome running trial - lots of birds and running through beech forest

Julie Aitken

April 25, 2022

Huge beech trees in the forest. Hut very basic. Cool track

George Mitchell

August 23, 2020

Nice run in the beech. It was baking hot - very glad of side creeks to cool off! Amazing swimming hole on the Boyle for the way home too :)

Katie Smith

January 9, 2019

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