Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done

Youngman Stream - Tarn Hut Loop

Oxford, Canterbury

Submitted by Daniel Parkinson

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 46 ?

Gnarl Factor: 25 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush


Open farmlands

Open tussock/grasslands

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Moderate Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +8.3%

Average Downhill Gradient: -8.3%


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Estimated Times to Run







From the car park on the road, run 3.4km to a gate (this bit may be skipped if you drive here). Then, follow the farm 4WD track for around 4km. There is a crossing of the Lilburne River required, but usually this is only calf deep and presents no issues.

Continue another km to a DoC sign and a Y junction. From here, continue towards Youngman Stream Hut. Be careful to follow the markers and not sheep trails. The trail is relatively flat for a few kilometres, but then ascends steeply to almost reach the bushline, before descending back down to Youngman Stream, where a crossing is required to reach the hut. The stream is probably the best place to refill with water as the huts do not have tanks.

Cross back over the stream to begin a steep grunt to Lilburne Hill, the highest point on the run. From here, the trail descends to the picturesque Tarn Hut. A 4WD track then starts, with a gentle and fast descent back to the Y junction. From here, it is a flat and easy run on the farm track back to the car. Can be run in either direction, but I prefer to run in the described direction, to get the hardest bits out of the way first, and it is nicer to have a less steep downhill section from Lilburne Hill.

This trail includes the peak Lilburne Hill.

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.

Safe to park cars either at the end of the farm track or on the on the side of the road by the DoC sign.

25 km

35 minutes





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

Plenty of streams, but much of these go through farms. No tanks at either hut. Best place is Youngman Stream.

There is a large tarn next to Tarn Hut but this is frozen in winter and could be a bit stagnant.

Snow/ ice above the bushline when sufficiently cold.

You and Youngman Stream - Tarn Hut Loop

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Trail Reviews

This is a run of 3 parts-the first 10k is quick and cruisy - the next 8k is slow and mostly walking and looks like some of the trail is either damaged or re-routed since the storm last year until Youngman hut followed by a very grunty steep uphill to the top of liliburne hill (trail good) .From Tarn Hut the going is good and mostly downhill. However, the "time to run" is not accurate ; 3hrs is impossible and I suspect that 4h20 was set before the storm damage. 4hr 45 I think would be fast and 6hr moderate and 7hr15 slow. I'm usually a midpack runner and was just under 6hr on a perfect day with a mostly dry trail. Definitely do in the direction described and watch carefully for the track markers in the middle section.

Simon Huntley

March 10, 2022

Great views from the ridgeline.
The run up Youngman stream was a bit more technical & slippery than I expected.

Nelson Pearson

September 21, 2020

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