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Red Tarns, Canterbury

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Red TarnsBeginner

Submitted by Anna Brooke

Info Info
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Trail Information






Mt Cook Village

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back


Native bush
Open ridges/tops


1:00 (Slow)
0:45 (Moderate)
0:35 (Fast)



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Anybody can walk this, let's see how fast you can run it!

Well maintained path up through Alpine forest and scrub. The views are out of this world. It's one of those up up up runs then down down down after a nice loop of the red tarns.

This run goes up the easier side of Mt Sebastapol. Lots of steps, and more steps, then some more. Advise taking poles for balance.

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Features of interest

In the morning/evening you'll enjoy little native birds keeping you company. Views of Mt Cook, Mt Sefton & Mt Annette. 

Make Up of Run

Moderate Single Track: 70%

Easy Single Track: 15%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 15%

Route Data


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Overlapping Runs

The following trails overlap with this run 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 Strava activity for each


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  • Access

    You can start from anywhere in the Village but Bowen Dr is a good place to start, parking near the Mt Cook Village Public Shelter. The track is sign posted.

    Parking near the Mt Cook Village Public Shelter is available or at the DOC visitor centre.

    1 km

    1 minutes



  • Staying Safe


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

    Follow your nose on the track

    Generally good.

    Short-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone.

    Nil. Don't drink from the tarns as they contain fragile alpine organisms.

    Weather can be variable any time of year. Generally dry and good in summer. Watch out for snow/ice when it's cold but after a warm spell you can get away with doing it in winter in your runners. If there's snow/ice you'll need spikes as a minimum and after some storms/freezes it may be not run friendly. Just turn around if it gets too slippery.

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