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Tumble Down Te Oka, Canterbury

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Tumble Down Te OkaBeginner

Submitted by Katie Smith

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Trail Information






Little River

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, some big hills

Open farmlands


2:00 (Slow)
1:30 (Moderate)
1:10 (Fast)



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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.

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Features of interest

Look out for seals and sea lions at the beach.

Make Up of Run

Easy Single Track: 85%

Gravel Road: 15%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

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  • Access

    Drive up Kinloch Road and park at the top where it meets Bossu Road

    No public transport, limited roadside parking

    9 km

    12 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    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

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