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Mt Oxford Half, Canterbury

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Mt Oxford HalfBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Katie Smith

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible


Very hilly

Native bush
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops

Beginner - Intermediate

4:30 (Slow)
3:30 (Moderate)
2:30 (Fast)



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From Coopers Creek start on easy farm tracks along the Mt Oxford summit track. This winds through pockets of beech forest, climbing steadily. As you get higher the view starts to unfold behind you out to the Canterbury plains.
As you break out above the bush line the route is poled, and continues to climb steadily. After a couple of false summits you eventually reach the top of Mt Oxford after around 7km to beautiful 360 degree views.
From here continue following poles across a broad ridge before gradually descending, ducking in and out of stunted beech forest which gradually gets taller. There are some steep sections of descent through this area which are slippery after rain.
At the first junction keep left then left again onto the Ryde Falls track. The falls are a short out-and-back detour, but worth the view.
The track continues down through bush with plenty of undulation through this section, and some deep muddy areas, before gradually becoming more well formed. A brief breakout from the bush takes you over a small rocky outcrop with views back up to Mt Oxford, before finishing back at Cooper Creek.

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Features of interest

Great views across the Canterbury plains and across to the Southern Alps from the tops.

Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 60%

Moderate Single Track: 20%

Easy Single Track: 15%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 5%

Route Data


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Overlapping Runs

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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    From Oxford take Woodside Road - after about 7km turn right into Mountain Road and park at the Coopers Creek DoC car park.

    Plenty of parking, no public transport.

    10 km

    12 minutes



  • Staying Safe


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

    In poor visibility the poled route on the tops would be hard to follow.

    Generally good.

    Thermal leggings, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions).

    Several creeks are crossed towards the last third of the route, but water is somewhat scarce before this.

    Snow from autumn through to spring on the tops.
    Very muddy in parts after rain or when snow is melting.

  • Post run indulgence

    Sheffield Pie Shop
    Can't beat a Sheffield pie!

    Cafe 51

  • Blog Posts and Articles
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