Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


Save Trail Save

I've done it Done

Trails and Tribulations

Methven, Canterbury

Submitted by Tony Sharpe

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


Save Trail Save

I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 41 ?

Gnarl Factor: 54 ?








Login as a VIP to see driving directions, distance and time.

Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Out and Back

Undulating, some big hills


Open farmlands

Open tussock/grasslands

Run Makeup


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%


Login as a VIP to see the trailhead information.

Estimated Times to Run







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.

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.

Parking at the trail head

35 km

39 minutes




Take the DOC map and GPX


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.

Learn about Trail Legends.

You and Trails and Tribulations

As a VIP member you can record private notes for this trail, see all of your times and more.

Register Now

Already have an account? Login now

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, 2023

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

Login to submit a review

Trail Running Community

Find people who are interested in or have completed this trail run.

You must register or login to view this feature.

Register Now

Overlapping Trails

These overlap with this trail to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate activity for each.

Hakatere Shoe Washer

Hakatere Shoe Washer

Length: 60.0km

Level: Intermediate

Other trails nearby
Lake Camp and Clearwater Loop

Lake Camp and Clearwater Loop

Length: 14.6km

Level: Beginner - Intermediate

Mt Somers - Round The Mountain

Mt Somers - Round The Mountain

Length: 26.0km

Level: Intermediate

Rakaia Rush

Rakaia Rush

Length: 10.0km

Level: Beginner

Mt. Taylor Dual

Mt. Taylor Dual

Length: 31.0km

Level: Intermediate - Experienced

Find more trails and peaks nearby