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Pretty Papatowai, Otago

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Pretty PapatowaiBeginner

Submitted by Kieran Philip

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, small hills only

Native bush


2:00 (Slow)
1:30 (Moderate)
1:00 (Fast)



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Starting in the middle of Papatowai at the DOC Campsite, head to the main road and take a right. No need to run on the road as there is a nice wee track that winds its way beside the road. Head over the bridge, and just after coming off the bridge take a right in to the Old Coach Road area, follow this track along and out on to the beach at the head of the estuary.

Head along the beach for as long as your heart desires. This guide went out 800m or so and then back. Follow the same track back to the bridge. On the return, there is the cool wee option of the local bush walk which is a wee loop on the right hand side of the main road with the entrance located on the corner of it and Tahakopa Valley Rd. This is a wee loop with some fun wee signposts etc to look at on your way round (would also be good for a stroll around with kids if you were so inclined). Once back at the store you could cut it off there (6.5km) or can continue up the road. Take a left into Alexandra Rd (opposite Gyspy caravan) and then a right in to Cross St. At the end of Cross St you'll reach the Picnic Point walkway, which you follow through the forest until you reach an intersection with the Kings Rock track. Take a right here and follow this up through the bush, follow some poles across a paddock and then down to the beach. A good wee rock to scale if you're keen. Track back the way you came, back to the store.

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Features of interest

Beach views, native forest, cute wee local bush track.

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 15%

Easy Single Track: 65%

Gravel Road: 15%

Sealed Road: 5%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Middle of Papatowai at the DOC Campsite / Store. Right on the Southern Scenic Route.

    Parking off the road, fairly public, keep the valuables out of sight.

    56 km

    47 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Generally good.

    Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

    No drinkable water around

    Can be very wet and wild when the weather is rough, not too bad in the bush cover though, could get pretty muddy.

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