Last Updated: 15th Jan 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Pinchgut Hut

Rangiora, Canterbury

Submitted by Isobel Stout

Last Updated: 15th Jan 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

Save Trail Save

I've done it Done

Grunt Factor: 15

Gnarl Factor: 39








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, small hills only

Dog Friendly

Native bush

Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +10.1%

Average Downhill Gradient: -10.1%


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Estimated Times to Run







From the trailhead it's a few meters down the river bank and you have to cross the Okuku RIver. From the other side pick up the orange triangles and/or poles that mark the entire way. The trail starts pretty gently and is a great warmup, even a brief bit of old 4wd road but gradually gets more technical and undulating until you pop out on the river bed and it's boulders baby!

Spot the big orange triangle up river and head for it anyway you like. You can stay dry by boulder-hopping or hugging the left bank but that has the added sensational delight of gorse. Once back on the track proper it switchbacks steeply away from the river and over the ridge to the Pinchgut Creek and down to the Pinchgut Hut.

Return by retracing your steps and spotting the big orange triangle downriver before heading into the boulders.

Birds, waterfalls, native bush.

Car pooling is ideal as there isn't a lot of room to park at the end, 5-6 vehicles is probably the maximum.

27 km

28 minutes




The track is well marked with orange triangles, you should always be able to see the next one whilst beside one.


Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, 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 bag, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries.

The Okuku River and Pinchgut Creek plus side streams mean you only need to carry a bottle or cup.

The foothills throughout Canterbury can be plagued with wasps in summer. The DOC website has some advice about these invaders and how to reduce the likelihood of getting stung.

Don't take the Okuku River crossing lightly at any time of year, even low flows are knee to thigh high. If there is rain forecast or it's already raining it's best not to start in case you can't cross back. Clearly don't attempt to cross in flood or if you can't see the bottom.

Oxford Dairy
Oxford Main Rd
monster icecreams

Coffee Culture
93 Victoria St, Rangiora
loads of calorific, caffeinated goodies

Trail Legend


Ashley Rees

has completed Pinchgut Hut once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

An enjoyable revisit of this trail that has a bit of everything. Some diversions up and around new slips that could get pretty slick in heavy rain, but it's still very runable and fun. The Okuku river crossing first up, and to finish is still a highlight!
Just don't bring blue crossing shoes. The local bees made it impossible to put them back on.

Christian Couper

October 15, 2022

Great track, but has been extensively damaged from flooding earlier. There is now sections that you must scramble up/slip down. The track has been washed away in a few areas & these areas have been recut in with some steep sharp & slippery bits. These sections are dodgy so definitely not recommended for kids at the moment. Beautiful views of the river. I’ll definitely do it again :)

Donna Edwards

October 25, 2021

Great track! Good mixture of trail and loved every minute of it!

Ashley Rees

July 18, 2020

Strikes me as a perfect little training route with a touch of everything in easy reach including full on boulder hopping up river if that's your thing! It would also be a great introduction to tramping for kids.

Isobel Stout

July 7, 2020

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