Last Updated: 27th Dec 2023


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Fantastic Mt Fyffe

Kaikoura, Canterbury

Submitted by Tony Sharpe

Last Updated: 27th Dec 2023


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 32 ?

Gnarl Factor: 27 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Very hilly

Native bush

Plantation/exotic forest

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +16.6%

Average Downhill Gradient: -16.6%


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Estimated Times to Run







The Mt Fyffe track is a well graded but quite steep 4WD track nearly the whole way from valley floor to summit. Its a pretty relentless climb but well worth the effort with commanding 360 degree views from the summit that take in the whole Kaikoura coastal plain and peninsula, around to the Kowhai Valley and Seaward Kaikoura Ranges beyond. Full reward for efforts here.

The Mt Fyffe Hut (8 bunks) is located 2/3rd of the way up (1,103m) and provides a good stop for a breather and read of the hutbook. Its also a great place to overnight. Beyond the hut the track follows through plantings that are aimed to settle land erosion. A short sharp ascent up the last ridge will gain a well earned rest on the seat at the summit and the obligatory trip photos will follow from here.

Return the same way for a knee and quad shattering 1,400m descent. While there are routes beyond along the tops over Gable and Gables End, anything beyond Mt Fyffe summit is at the time of writing closed due to massive earthquake damage, especially in the Hapuku and Kowhai track areas. It could be some time before these other valleys open up again.

This trail includes the peak Mount Fyffe.

Mt Fyffe provides an accessible and highly iconic view of Kaikoura and the surrounding mountains.

Carpark at Road end

14 km

23 minutes




Pretty straight forward, 4WD is obvious and where it turns into a trail its well poled, cairned and marked.

Generally good.

Waterproof leggings, 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

May be some water at Mt Fyffe Hut, but bring you own just in case. Especially in summer- you'll want a full 2 litres or more!

Winter = snow and maybe ice axe/ crampons

Exposed mountain tops here- take heed of weather forecasts and be prepared with the right gear in the event of sudden changes

Kaikoura has lots of options

Trail Legend

Jamie Bowley

Jamie Bowley

has completed Fantastic Mt Fyffe once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Glad to have poles for the uphill. Quads were tired after the downhill. The views are quite nice!

Matt Halverson

November 12, 2021

This is a whole lot of straight up to great 360 views. I took poles and that made the up part so much more enjoyable. The down is indeed straight down and by the end your quads will be complaining. Just remind them of the stunning views they saw at the top. And the post run selection of cafes is second to none.

Vanessa Gopperth

May 22, 2021

A slow start rewards you with awesome views and a fab bit of ridgeline. Easy to
Navigate and smiles all round.

Anna Christophorou

February 27, 2021

The grind was worth it! Relentless but quickly you’re in some amazing alpine terrain and magic views. Meeting the sun there at dawn is a great call! Fast burn down wrecked the legs!

Emily Marfell

February 7, 2021

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