Last Updated: 31st Mar 2024


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Mt Thomas Routes and Ridges

Oxford, Canterbury

Submitted by Emily Oliver

Last Updated: 31st Mar 2024


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Grunt Factor: 79 ?

Gnarl Factor: 97 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Very hilly

Dog Friendly

Native bush

Plantation/exotic forest

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +16.8%

Average Downhill Gradient: -16.8%


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Estimated Times to Run

Not suitable






A figure-8 shaped technical route with a double climb and no flat bits - great training for Mission Mt Somers.

From the camping area take Summit Track up a steep ridge through plantation forest (some already logged) and then bush to the summit of Mt Thomas - this is the short and steep way to summit, and should get your heart rate going! At the summit take a left along the ridge and follow the track, passing the junction to Wooded Gully track on your left. Continue until the next track junction (signposted) where you take a right towards Whare Route and Bob's Camp Route.

The route hops over a knob at 1043m and then descends to a junction with Whare Ridge and Cattle Ridge routes at 953m. From here you can choose to take the top loop of your figure 8 anti-clockwise (Whare Ridge first) or clockwise (Cattle Ridge first) - this description is anti-clockwise. Follow the poled route down the ridge, popping in and out of native bush pockets and tussocky areas where stock have grazed, this is all runnable if you like it technical! Keep alert for the markers as they are not always easy to spot and the beaten track vanishes often. The last bit of descent gets very steep, dropping down to Pinchgut Hut which sits in a shady little valley, a good place for lunch (keep the door closed to avoid being lunch for sandflies).

Cross the stream just past the hut and find the track which immediately begins climbing the ridge opposite the one you just came down, this is Cattle Ridge. A long, grunty and exposed climb here with more route-finding required (follow the poles and if in doubt follow the ridge line uphill) until the sign for Bob's Biv, which is an optional 10-minute side-trip from the main track. Keep following the poles until you get back to the junction which completes the top loop of the figure 8. From here retrace your steps back towards Mt Thomas. Take the Wooded Gully Track (5.2km) down for the best runnable descent of the day to complete the bottom half of the figure 8 and finish back at the camping area.

This trail includes the peak Mount Thomas.

If you know of any public toilets near the trail start or on the route, please login and then let us know so we can update this section.

Plenty of parking and a toilet at the camping area.

23 km

20 minutes





Thermal leggings, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map

Very little opportunity to get water - take all you will need. The water at Pinchgut Hut comes from a stream that has been through stock areas, drink at your own risk.

The ridges are exposed and may be difficult in high winds.

Trail Legend

Greg O’Brien

Greg O’Brien

has completed Mt Thomas Routes and Ridges once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Did most of this circuit on the 1st April (no joke!) with some directional changes. Up Wooded Gully, over the tops to Bob's Camp for a look, down Cattle Peak to Pinchgut for a break and what turned out to be ok water for a refill. Up Whare Route, back over the top and down Ridge Track. 28km, 2k of vert and about 8 hours total time. A good circuit if you don't like flat runs!

Christian Couper

July 14, 2023

Hiked this over 2 days this past weekend. We had ideal weather, (especially given we started walking at 6pm and arrived at Bob's Biv at 10:30!).
Would recommend going to Bob's Biv first, then down to Pinchgut, and up Whare Route to the ridgeline again. Likely steeper, but get it over and done with, vs the longer sloop from Bob's to Pinch.
Like others have said water can be a bit tight between the carpark and Pinchgut. There is a small stream (I would treat before drinking) near Bob's Biv (about 50m directly out from the door of the hut), and the water from Pinchgut stream I had no issues with drinking directly. If you're dry by the time you're back at the main ridgeline I would hit up Wooded Gully track down, it has lots of streams.
Looking forward to doing it on the run (maybe not the vert!), pretty cool wee loop, and awesome to get out back behind the hills.
Views of other hills > views of paddocks and towns.

Claudia Petrie

March 21, 2022

Only completed part of this going to Bob's Camp and back again, but a great trail nonetheless. Will definitely be back to loop around Whare & Cattle Ridges to finish it off as they looked awesome. NW winds were cranking along the ridgeline!

Ashley Rees

March 8, 2021

Amazing trail with mixture of steep and some runnable tracks. Take lots water we took 2L and needed to top up on last downhill.

Kristen Diederich

August 16, 2020

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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.

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