Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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Tumble Down Te Oka

Little River, Canterbury

Submitted by Katie Smith

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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Grunt Factor: 17

Gnarl Factor: 18








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, some big hills



Open farmlands


Run Makeup


Gravel Road

Easy Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +10.6%

Average Downhill Gradient: -10.6%


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Estimated Times to Run







This is an easy non-technical run down through farmland to a beautiful little beach, with a good climb back up to the start. It's great one for a hot summer's day - stop for a swim and a cool down at the bottom. Take plenty of water as there are no resupply options.

The track starts by a sign at the junction between Kinloch and Bossu roads. Climb over a stile and go through a gate past some yards, then just follow the markers. It heads down a spur that divides Te Oka and Tumbledown Bays, following a fenceline. Initially you pass a small pine plantation - enjoy the shade, as its the only bit you'll get - the rest of the route is completely open save the very occasional lone tree. This would also make it quite exposed in bad weather, especially a southerly.

After about 5km you reach a gravel road T junction - head left to go to Te Oka Bay, which is just over 1km away. Look into the bay for seals and dolphins as you approach the sea. Hop over the stile at the bottom to get to the beach. At low tide there are volcanic rock shelves you can explore on either side of the beach.

Once you've had your fill, head back the way you have come.

There is also the option to turn this into a loop by ignoring the track and running back up the gravel road - this will add about 2-3km. The road is quiet except in the summer holidays, when the two beaches as popular. You get the benefit of checking out Tumbledown Bay too if you do this, but be warned that if there is traffic it's likely to be accompanied by clouds of dust. Either way its a solid almost-600m climb back up to your car.

Look out for seals and sea lions at the beach.

No public transport, limited roadside parking

9 km

12 minutes




Very patchy.

Short-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

None available

Exposed - very hot in summer, potentially cold in winter

Trail Legend

Tony Sharpe

Tony Sharpe

has completed Tumble Down Te Oka once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Breathtaking glorious views of a beautiful bay and turquoise ocean, I ran this yesterday on a blue bird afternoon, just me and the track and lots of sheep. As I left the farm track and rounded the bay, I was delighted to see multiple seals swimming in the blue blue water...Definately agee with above, no shelter or shade to help you after the Pine plantation and manuka and kanuka along the fenceline (3km down the hill), taking the above advice I loaded 1L of water and 500mL flask of tailwind into my running vest and an OSM bar to keep away any grumbles on the uphill slog. Take a sunhat, any sunscreen will have sweated away quite quickly. Beautiful still afternoon, but if it was a Canterbury south-easter sort of day, this trail could give you a good work out in high winds..!

Lynette ELFICK

November 8, 2022

Loved it. Good uphill grunt to finish.

George Mitchell

December 29, 2021

Great route! It’s one biiig hill. Fantastic views the whole way. Glad for some cloud as it is indeed quite exposed. Desperately needed a toilet by the time I got to the beach so I popped into a little campground near the beach which had some portaloos - it looked like a private facility so would not recommend it except in case of emergency. Have been to Tumbledown Bay a few times but never Te Oka. It was gorgeous! It’s quite a runnable uphill for the first half, but the last few k’s are steeper. Not a glorious sprint finish but a very enjoyable day out :)

Matt Halverson

February 27, 2021

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