Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Intermediate - Experienced

I've done it Done

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Oxford Odyssey Marathon Route

Oxford, Canterbury

Submitted by Dan Boulton

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Intermediate - Experienced

I've done it Done

Save Trail Save


Grunt Factor: 96

Gnarl Factor: 75





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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible



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

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +15.7%

Average Downhill Gradient: -15.6%


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Estimated Times to Run







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.

Massive climbs in an alpine environment. Great views over the Canterbury Plains, and west into the Southern Alps. Amazing beech forest trails.

Free parking at start of Coopers Creek Carpark. There is a port-o-loo there that I think is permanent.

10 km

15 minutes




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.

Trail Legend

Ben  Brown

Ben Brown

has completed Oxford Odyssey Marathon Route once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Tough day out! If you like big grunty climbs, you will like this. If you like runnable routes, you will not. Well deserving of the name "odyssey". I don't know if I would enjoy this run on my own - but I certainly enjoyed it as part of the Mt Oxford Odyssey race. It's a great event.

Matt Halverson

April 16

Brutal. Love the Oxford trails.

Shea Hickman

November 2, 2020

Intense trail, not your average marathon... took me much longer than expected.

Ian Gilmour

May 5, 2019


Mike Hart

March 19, 2019

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