Last Updated: 2nd May 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Kaituna Grande Loop

Lincoln, Canterbury

Submitted by Stephanie Berry

Last Updated: 2nd May 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Grunt Factor: 28 ?

Gnarl Factor: 16 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Very hilly

Native bush

Open farmlands

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops


Run Makeup


Sealed Road

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +11.2%

Average Downhill Gradient: -10.2%


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Estimated Times to Run







Park at the start of the track on Parkinsons Road - there is a DOC sign marking the start of the track. Follow the markers up to the Packhorse Hut approx 4kms up with a bit over 400m of climbing. Climb the stile and you can refill your water at the hut if needed and then head off around the back of Mt Bradley - another nice wee climb zig zagging your way up and around the mountain along a sweet and sometimes slippery single track.

At the end of the single track you cross another fence and then along a small single track before coming out on a nice 4wd track. When it forks stay on the top track and head past the Mt Herbert shelter (more water available here) and keep climbing. You will reach another fork - one heads down to Diamond Harbour and the other up the the Mt Herbert trig. Keep climbing and once you reach the trig you can admire the amazing views of the harbours. On a great day you see all the way to the Kaikouras.

Once you've done the obligatory selfie at the trig you follow the track out across the tops - this can be exposed and cold if it's windy so take lots of warm clothes even if it seems warm at the bottom. After another small climb you hit some sweet downhill single track - have fun on this. Just before the 12km mark there is a track that drops off to your right - you need to keep an eye out for this as it's not well marked. On your left there is a track heading down to Port Levy called Monument Track - the track to your right is just past this. It is a 4wd grassed track that doesn't get alot of use. I would recommend taking the relevant topo map with you so that you can locate this track easily.

Once on this track it's all downhill - 4kms of sweet 4wd grassed track through mud and springs. Once you get to the bottom of this there's a little bit of an amble through somebody's yard - sometimes the gates are closed and sometimes open but this is clearly where the track goes - then you are out onto a little country road and a wee 5km trot back to the cars - you will see the turnoff back onto Parkinsons Road and a gentle incline to the car.

Note: This trail crosses through farm land on an easement. No dogs allowed. There's also a pest control operation about to start with professional shooters in the valley. There's signage posted at the Parkinsons Road track end and the Kaituna-Monument track end. This will be for feral goats, pigs and other pests. Local farmers are pretty cool in the most, but will close the Kaituna tracks during their lambing season. Again signage at the start points.

This trail includes the peak Mount Herbert/Te Ahu Patiki.

If you know of any public toilets near the trail start or on the route, please login and then let us know so we can update this section.

Plenty of parking on road side at start

32 km

28 minutes




Packhorse Hut - Check signs and follow track to Mt Herbert
Junction Orton Bradley Park at Mt Herbert/Mt Bradley track - keep Mt Herbert in your sights and keep climbing
Diamond Harbour/Mt Herbert Junction - take the right hand track and keep climbing
Drop into Kaituna Valley - take topo map and check this as you go - once past Monument track sign on right then drop down just past here - follow the track markers


Thermal leggings, 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

Packhorse Hut - drinkable water
Mt Herbert shelter - drinkable water

Snow on ground in winter
Wind very cold if blowing easterly

Trail Legend


Hayden Ross

has completed Kaituna Grande Loop once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

A great loop closer to the city and east enough for when the weather is poor in the western mountains. There's enough of everything in this loop to keep you challenged. Well marked track and pretty reliable water stops at the Packhorse and Herbert Shelter. Take the extra gear, as it can get breezy up top, even in summer. Save a few lollies to get you along the tarsealed section back to your start point.

Christian Couper

June 2

Really nice run, only gave four stars as there is a wee bit of road running involved. Otherwise it would certainly be a five star run!!

Joe de Tracy Gould

October 10, 2022

Amazing views. Grunt up to packhorse was not my favourite but once we climbed right up…. Those views

Tony Fallon

October 2, 2022

Unreal. An absolute must do of Chch

Jake Bailey

August 29, 2021

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