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Balclutha River Loop, Otago

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Balclutha River LoopBeginner

Submitted by Mike Tennent

Info Info
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Trail Information







Urban fringe


Totally/mostly flat

Open farmlands
Open tussock/grasslands


1:15 (Slow)
1:00 (Moderate)
0:40 (Fast)



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Starting at Rosebank Lodge, head down (and up and down again) Wilson Road away from SH1 and take a left into Frances Street. Head down Frances taking a right at Armstrong Street - the option here involves climbing down, crossing a small stream, then crossing a double railway line... if you are not comfortable with this, stay on Frances St and take a right further down onto High Street. Once you have crossed the official crossing on High St the two options merge again. However if you go down Armstrong Street, when you get to the end there is a grass area to the left and a gate leading to a mown strip across the grass. Follow the strip and then make towards the right-hand end of the poplars to the right of the grass.

At that point you can reasonably easily make your way over the small stream with dryish feet and up and over the railway (taking all due care). Once over the railway take a left and follow it to the road. Over the road is the railway yard with a chain up and a no entry sign, to the right of this just over the fence is the stopbank. The fence has a couple of low points where others have accessed it and that's where you go now. Follow the stopbank for about 800m, you will pass a large contractors yard on your right and just on the other side of that is a road down to the river, follow that road down and then left along the river.

From here you just follow the river, firstly on gravel road, then on grass and semi-trail. After the second bridge you have the choice of heading up to some very flat smooth running at the top of the stopbank or run along the bottom. Take a note of the distance as you pass under the second bridge, pretty much right on 2km after that you will come to a gate in a paddock area leading to the left away from the river. There is an earlier gate into a park... ignore that. This will take you onto Hospital Road, follow that up onto SH1, take a right there and nearly 1km up the road and you are back at the start.

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Features of interest

Nice views of the Clutha River and a couple of cool bridges.

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 35%

Technical Single Track: 0%

Moderate Single Track: 0%

Easy Single Track: 20%

Gravel Road: 25%

Sealed Road: 20%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Rosebank Lodge Motor Inn (or pretty much anywhere in Balclutha)

    Plenty of parking everywhere you need.

    2 km

    3 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Perfect throughout.

    Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Cellphone, Map.

    River and/or houses close for pretty much all the run

    Could get boggy off the stopbanks in winter.

    Roads and railway lines, always take care.

  • Post run indulgence

    Picasso's Restaurant
    Rosebank Motor Lodge, SH1, Balclutha
    Had a lovely meal after my run... venison and beer and a lovely cheesecake to finish.

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