Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Blow Hard and back

Oxford, Canterbury

Submitted by Jen Harris

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Closed More info

Closed from Mori reserve road end as of 24th Sept 2022. Significant bog and trees down bypass and at the start of the Blowhard track.

Please notify us if this has changed.

Grunt Factor: 44 ?

Gnarl Factor: 48 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, some big hills

Dog Friendly

Native bush

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +13.8%

Average Downhill Gradient: -12.8%


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Estimated Times to Run







Leaving the end of Maori Reserve road, go through unlocked gate and start on the 4wd track heading uphill, this peters out to a bush track, after you leave the bush line at the top, go past first clearing and then you come to the DOC sign, take the Bypass track to the left, continue down hill (mostly), take the track to the right, cross the bridge, the next track to the right (another foot bridge) onto the Mt Richardson track, then its a steady slog to the top, take the required photo at the top then continue on the track back towards the Blowhard. There are some steep shingly parts on the Blowhard track.

The Blowhard Track is sometimes used by horse riders, mountain bikers, trampers and the odd dirt bike. Mt Richardson track won't have any dirtbikes or horses.

This trail includes the peak Mount Richardson.

Limited parking on grass outside Birch Hill Camp at start of the track. There are no toilets

20 km

18 minutes





Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map

There is no water on the Blowhard Track. There are a couple of streams at the bottom of the Mt Richardson Track. Suggest you take enough water with you for drinking

Can get windy on the ridges, track will be slippery on the steep sections after rain

Listen out for dirt bikes and keep off the track to allow them to pass. I've done the Blowhard many times and only seen dirt bikes twice.

Sheffield Pies

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Trail Reviews

Did this today from Glentui as the Māori Reserve entrance had a trail closed notice. Lots of bog but a good grunty day out. Got caught a little short on water as you usual come across plenty streams around these hills.

Tom Rochford

September 25, 2022

Wow what a great track. Definitely more hiking than running and very glad I had my poles. Had a stunning day for it so the views were amazing. There are a couple of creeks to fill bottles which I was very glad about with the 26 degree heat. Feeling a sense of achievement for sure!

Kate Baxter

March 29, 2021

It is a bit grunty. I was glad I brought poles as there was a fair bit of hiking rather than running. Nice views at the top though! Neat to see Lees Valley opening up below you.

Matt Halverson

November 28, 2020

I would rate this as an intermediate + levelTwo big climbs ,two steep downs Take plenty to drink,it's definitely worth a challenge and you will know how fit you are

Paul Dench

July 5, 2020

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