Last Updated: 16th Mar 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Mt Oxford Half

Oxford, Canterbury

Submitted by Katie Smith

Last Updated: 16th Mar 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 44 ?

Gnarl Factor: 65 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Very hilly

Dog Friendly

Native bush

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +14.3%

Average Downhill Gradient: -13.0%


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Estimated Times to Run







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.

This trail includes the peak Mount Oxford.

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

Plenty of parking, no public transport.

10 km

12 minutes




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.

Sheffield Pie Shop
Can't beat a Sheffield pie!

Cafe 51

Trail Legend

Sia Svendsen

Sia Svendsen

has completed Mt Oxford Half 3 times in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Really nice circuit with lots of variety. Definitely best run in this direction. This time (18 Sept) there was quite a lot of mud in places (and a few tree-fall issues) that made it slower than usual - however in a month or so it should be in better shape.

Mike Steel

September 19, 2022

A delightful loop.
Highly recommend to run it as described (counter-clockwise), get the main grunt work done with.
I had perfect conditions, cool, sunny, no breeze, ideal!
Bit of a grunt up to the peak, but nothing technical or too rough. No water until you're down the other side so be aware of that. Nice to have lunch/a snack at the summit then continue along!
The side trip to Ryde Fall's is ok. I didn't bother as I have walked it before. It's pretty steep down to it, which you would have to then climb back up to the track, and I couldn't be stuffed... But up to you.

Great day out.

Claudia Petrie

March 21, 2022

Awesome loop, highly recommended a detour up to the falls

Tim Shaw

February 27, 2022

Wow! This trail made me emotional it was so good haha! I was choking up with the stunning views. A mix of all the good things a trail needs and with that I need to sign up for the Oxford Odyssey!!!

Alice Brice

January 26, 2022

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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

Mt Oxford - Wharfedale Track

Mt Oxford - Wharfedale Track

Length: 35.0km

Level: Intermediate

Oxford Odyssey Marathon Route

Oxford Odyssey Marathon Route

Length: 41.0km

Level: Intermediate - Experienced

Mount Oxford Summit Scramble

Mount Oxford Summit Scramble

Length: 14.0km

Level: Beginner - Intermediate

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