Mt Thomas Direct!Beginner - Intermediate
Submitted by Lisa Ainley
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Front country - easily accessible
Out and Back
Native bushPlantation/exotic forestOpen ridges/tops
Beginner - Intermediate
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Start at the DOC sign and cross the grassy area. Do not head straight up Wooded Gully, instead take the single track to the right. This may be a bit muddy depending on time of the year. Cross a stile and then the track will veer left and head up hill.
A short climb up and you come out to a 4WD road. (If you choose to turn left here this will eventually lead you back to Wooded Gully and back to the carpark). Cross over this road and continue straight up. At the time of writing this area is open as it has been logged. So as you climb, don't forget to stop and turn around and take in the wonderful views of the Canterbury Plains.
You will continue on into the pine forest and keep on climbing and climbing and climbing. There is a small respite of a teeny down hill for a matter of metres but then straight away you are back climbing. The good news is you will eventually get to a sharp corner in the track (the "Zag") at this point you are about half way - time wise - to the top. Also one more short grunt and you will find the trail, although still climbing, eases off. You have now done the steepest climb on the trail.
Just keep climbing and then about half a km from the top you emerge out onto a 4wd road. Turn left and after about half a km you reach the trig at the top. If you are lucky and have a clear day you can see for miles. The views are breathtaking.
You then return back down the way you came retracing your steps back to the carpark. For those who want a longer trip the options are endless from here. You can head down Wooded Gully or Ridge track. Maybe take an even longer trip out to Bobs Biv or the Pinchgut Hut. So many choices. One trip to the top of Mt Thomas is not going to satisfy. It is a summit that deserves repeat trips from different directions.
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 47%
Moderate Single Track: 35%
Easy Single Track: 5%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 13%
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
From Oxford head over the Ashley Gorge Bridge and continue on till you cross the Garry River. Immediately after this turn left onto Hayland Road. Follow Hayland Road approximately 4km till you get to the Wooded Gully Picnic Area.
From Rangiora head over the Ashley Bridge, continue straight ahead and not turning off the road you are on till you get to Hodgsons Road. Turn left hear. Signs will head you to Okuku, Glentui etc. Just follow this road, straight, go through a dog leg, but stay on this road. Cross the Okuku River and approximately 10km further ahead is Hayland Road on the right.
This is a DOC parking area. Plenty of space to park and the facility to park just over the culvert in the camping area.
Just keep heading up and up and up till you get to the trig.
Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map.
No water available on this route. But there is water in a creek on Wooded Gully track.
Can get extremely cold on the summit in bad weather or cold winds. Always carry some warm clothing and water. Tell someone where you are heading.
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See other runs nearby:
Coopers Creek - Ryde Falls loop
Mt Thomas via Ridge Track
Mt Oxford - Wharfdale Track
Mt Oxford Half
Oxford Odyssey Marathon Route
Mt Richardson Rippa
Mt Thomas Grunt
Mount Oxford Summit Scramble
Blow Hard and back
Mt Thomas Routes and Ridges
Youngman Stream - Tarn Hut Loop
Glentui Waterfall Loop
Mt Thomas Forest Loop