Last Updated: 13th May 2024


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Mt Oxford - Wharfedale Track

Oxford, Canterbury

Submitted by Sarah Mannion

Last Updated: 13th May 2024


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 60 ?

Gnarl Factor: 42 ?








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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: +13.0%

Average Downhill Gradient: -12.7%


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Estimated Times to Run







This run starts on the Mt Oxford track, climbing to the summit of Mt Oxford before descending to the Wharfedale Hut. It then follows the Wharfedale track before turning off onto the Korimako track. This then joins onto the Ryde Falls Track which takes you back to the start. The Wharfedale track is an easy graded tramping track that is also used by mountain bikers. There are multiple tracks through this area but these are well signposted.

This trail includes the peak Mount Oxford.

Wharfedale Track was formed to open up Lees Valley. Work began in 1879 and in seven years £4,537 (about $500,000 equivalent today) had been spent before it was abandoned as a possible road.
Ryde Falls is a five tiered waterfall that is worth a wee side trip from the main track (only takes about 5 minutes to get down).

Closest public toilet to trailhead: Portaloo at the Coopers Creek carpark (usually has both toilet paper and hand sanitiser, but always good to pack some just in case).

There is a gravel parking area with houses nearby making it reasonably safe.

10 km

12 minutes




There are a few slips when climbing Mt Oxford which can make the markers harder to find but as long as you are going up you will get to the summit. It is a poled route along the ridge which can be hard to see in poor weather.

Generally good.

Long-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map

Water is available from various streams at the lower points of the run and at the Wharfedale hut.

Can be very cold and windy along the tops with snow likely settled during the winter. The Ryde Falls track can be muddy and slippery following rain.

Wasp numbers are high from January through to March each year.

Trail Legend

Claudia Petrie

Claudia Petrie

has completed Mt Oxford - Wharfedale Track twice in the last year.

Learn about Trail Legends.

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Trail Reviews

LOVED this run on a perfect winter's day. The last few hundred vertical metres were in the snow. I had microspikes; my mate did not; we were both happy. The ascent and descent of Oxford don't have much runnable terrain, but almost everything else was gloriously runnable. It was great to have Ryde Falls to break up the long run back to the carpark.

Matt Halverson

August 26, 2023

Brilliant circuit, lots of variety.
Felt like a min adventure and just a 1 hour drive from home in Christchurch.

Matt Tongue

October 24, 2022

There were many sections of this track that made me feel like I was running an obstacle course. There was extensive windfall throughout the area. I believe its all recent and they're working on clearing it because the sections of trail close to the carpark were much better. If it wasn't for all the tree jumping, limbo-ing and bush bashing around, I would give this circuit 5 stars. I think the time estimates are on the quick side as I can't imagine someone running it in 3 hours. I often find myself around the intermediate time and it took me 6:30 with a few short stops to fuel and change layers. Over all its a great run and if you get an early start a good run to do it in the summer heat because once you're off the ridge there is good tree coverage. I would definitely recommend!

Kelsey Montgomery

October 11, 2021

Lovely run this, grunty in parts, great downhill section, undulating finish (and I fully agree that the Wharfedale climb feels never ending) and stunning scenery. Water does appear when you need it, as I 'accidentally ran this instead of the 21km route and was very pleased when I hit a nice creek 2.5hrs in to top up. Top can get very windy, especially with the prevailing Nor'westerlies, and exposed, so be prepared to layer up a little on the final ascent section. In Autumn time, despite the control work being done by DOC, there are a lot of wasps around in the Honey Dew Beach forests. My advice is to wear tighter clothing to avoid trapping any inside your clothing, as this is the most likely way to get stung.

Billy Powell

March 4, 2020

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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.

Coopers Creek - Ryde Falls loop

Coopers Creek - Ryde Falls loop

Length: 14.0km

Level: Beginner - Intermediate

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Oxford Odyssey Marathon Route

Oxford Odyssey Marathon Route

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Mount Oxford Summit Scramble

Mount Oxford Summit Scramble

Length: 14.0km

Level: Beginner - Intermediate

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