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Kaituna Grande Loop, Canterbury

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Kaituna Grande LoopBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Stephanie Berry

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible


Very hilly

Native bush
Open farmlands
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops

Beginner - Intermediate

5:00 (Slow)
3:30 (Moderate)
2:00 (Fast)



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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.

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Make Up of Run

Moderate Single Track: 10%

Easy Single Track: 18%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 70%

Sealed Road: 2%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Parkinsons Road off Kaituna Valley Road, Kaituna Valley.

    Plenty of parking on road side at start

    32 km

    28 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .

    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

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