Oxford Odyssey Marathon RouteIntermediate - Experienced
Submitted by Dan Boulton
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Front country - easily accessible
Native bushOpen tussock/grasslandsOpen ridges/tops
Intermediate - Experienced
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From the Coopers Creek Carpark, go over the stream via the bridge and follow a 4WD track through a working farm for about 1.5km. This takes you to the start of the Mt Oxford track. Follow this for a further 5.5km all the way to the top of Mt Oxford, this is about a 1,000m climb. As you reach the tussock alpine line you can follow the orange track markers. Trail can be difficult to follow in snowy conditions. From top of Mt Oxford, bare to the left going around the back side of Mt Oxford, following the ridge down into a shallow saddle and then a small climb and along the ridge for about a 1km. Keep an eye out to the right as the track will descend steeply down the west side of Mt Oxford. Follow this track steeply down for about 6km to the Wharfdale Track. Steep in parts. Turn right onto Wharfdale Track and follow this for about a 1.5km crossing the river a couple of times. On the left hand side of the river, you will see a sign to take you up to the Black Hill Hut. This is a steep 6km climb to the hut that will really get the legs burning. Once you reach the hut, turn 180 degrees and descend back down the track you came up for about 700m and take a right onto Fosters Ridge Track. This descends steeply for 5km, at the bottom turn left onto Wharfdale Track and follow the MTB track for about 2km until you reach the junction that takes you all the way back to the top of Mt Oxford. Prepare for steep climb (1hr to 2hrs) to the summit of Mt Oxford and then a fast descent back to the car park following the same track you ascended on.
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Features of interest
Massive climbs in an alpine environment. Great views over the Canterbury Plains, and west into the Southern Alps. Amazing beech forest trails.
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 5%
Technical Single Track: 70%
Moderate Single Track: 10%
Easy Single Track: 10%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 5%
Start from Mt Oxford Carpark, at the end of Mountain Road. This is the Coopers Creek side of Mt Oxford, about 15min west of Oxford township. Head west out of Oxford along SH72, and after a 1km turn right onto Woodside Rd, stay on this until you reach a four way intersection. Turn right here onto Mountain Rd, and go to the end. From the car park, take the walking track down to the right and cross over the bridge across the stream. This is the start of the track.
Free parking at start of Coopers Creek Carpark. There is a port-o-loo there that I think is permanent.
In snowy conditions track along the top of Mt Oxford is more difficult to follow. Just follow the orange markers on steel warratahs.
Thermal leggings, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries.
Streams in the Wharfdale are ok for drinking.
Check the weather in winter, it often snows.
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