Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Trails and Tribulations

Methven, Canterbury

Submitted by Tony Sharpe

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Open

Grunt Factor: 41

Gnarl Factor: 54

20.3km

850m

850m

940m

  

  

  

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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Out and Back

Undulating, some big hills

Riverside

Open farmlands

Open tussock/grasslands

Run Makeup

10%
25%
20%
40%
5%

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +11.2%

Average Downhill Gradient: -11.2%

Trailhead

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Estimated Times to Run

5:00

Slow

4:00

Moderate

3:00

Fast

From the trail head hop the stile into the Redcliffe Conservation Area and follow the DOC marked trail through the matagouri, and across to the river flank. Track is well marked and soon begins climbing a substantial gorge. Some sections can be quite steep and slippery so good soles on your shoes are recommended.

Eventually you top out into expansive high country tussock/grasslands and you can really stretch your legs out across undulating open country for a few km's until you eventually drop down into the Swift Stream catchment and down to Tribulation Hut.

Occasionally across the trail peters out, but mostly its well marked and hard to go too wrong. You will get wet feet crossing Swift Stream. Views are broad and sweeping once you hit the saddle and head along the upper valley.

Return the way you came, or choose a more challenging high route back out around the tops of Rat Hill and Mt Hecia if you are up for something even more epic.


Tribulation Hut is an old musterers lodging that is now part of the Conservation Estate as a result of Tenure Review and retirement of the land. Its become popular with hunters and trampers for overnight stays and is a pleasant high country run or day walk.

Parking at the trail head

35 km

39 minutes

Unknown

No

Moderate.

Take the DOC map and GPX

Non-existent.

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, Headtorch and spare batteries.

It's high country farm land around here, as such the stream should be ok to drink from. Otherwise there's a water tank at the hut

Snow in winter, can be exposed to the wind

This is remote but not too challenging country, tell someone where you are going and have the right gear in case you take a tumble or sprain

Anything in Methven- maybe the Blue or Brown pubs!

Trail Legend

Matt Halverson

Matt Halverson

has completed Trails and Tribulations once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Fun day out! Since Christian’s report in 2021, someone must have done a bunch of track maintenance. Pretty straightforward to follow the track markers through the gorge now. (Although I did have a bit of trouble following them on the way back down; had to backtrack a couple times.) There are a few slips where the track has fallen away, but they have obvious diversions. I popped up to Cookies Hut as well - it adds an extra 8 km/1 hr round trip. It’s easy travel in the riverbed. Perhaps the hardest part of this trip was identifying the carpark on Google Maps: (-43.3820964, 171.4887640) for future reference.

Matt Halverson

September 10

Christian Couper 7th August 2021

The flood damage of late autumn has made a mess of the gorge section at the start of this trail. Navigation in the second kilometre up Jack Stream and over the ridge back into the Redcliffe Stream needs some care. Most of the track markers are washed away in the gorge section. Not much of the fenceline has survived the lower 5km either.
Once up on the tussock lands it's straight forward with the odd washed out creek to cross. Tribulation Hut has survived ok, with the Swift River having got very close. The loo on the other hand is 100m down in the river bed!
If you're looking for a break from well marked trails in the bush, this is something different and a bit of a challenge. A basic hut at the end for a brew up, with another a short way further if you're wanting a fire place.
Take care with the navigation at first.

Christian Couper

August 8, 2021

Great track, beautiful scenery. Tuff start with a nice hill climb followed by quick technical single track through tussock land. It's sometime hard to find the track. But if you follow the fence line it's a piece of cake, higher up is another single track, worth following.

Arjan Hulsman

September 7, 2017

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