Last Updated: 24th Nov 2023


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Aurora and Kanuka Loops

Cromwell, Otago

Submitted by Kieran Philip

Last Updated: 24th Nov 2023


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 31 ?

Gnarl Factor: 62 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Very hilly

Dog Friendly

Native bush

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +10.5%

Average Downhill Gradient: -10.5%


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Estimated Times to Run







The run starts at the Welshtown carpark, head south-ish along the track following the yellow marker poles. This track drops around and down into Aurora Creek and through the old goldmining structures and relics. This then joins back up with a 4wd track, follow this and join up with the road that you originally drove up on. About 200m on this you will get you to a DOC signpost on the left hand side. Head up here and you will get to a new signpost which shows the start of the Kanuka Loop. This then becomes a poled route, with orange markers, which you follow for the entire loop. The first part you run on to the stile in the two-way part of the loop, with the stile being where the loop separates. On the way back, you pop back out in the same spot, you then take a right and head up the Matilda Battery track, follow this up the hill until you reach the Welshtown carpark again. Done!

Bendigo Scenic Reserve has heaps to see! Mine shafts, old mining ruins, native bush.

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Plenty of parking room at the start of the trail.

19 km

15 minutes




First 5kms follow yellow wooden poles, mostly easy to find.
Last 10kms follow orange poled markers which are slightly harder to follow (especially if you're colourblind like me).


Long-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map

No water sources

Very hot and dry in the summer!
Can be pretty rough up on the ridge when windy, which can be quite often.

Unmarked mine shafts if you are voyaging off trail.
Plenty of rocky stuff to roll ankles on.

Trail Legend


Regan Parker

has completed Aurora and Kanuka Loops once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Did these as two separate loops. And adore them! Especially the Kanuka Loop, it’s technical enough to keep you on your toes, but also runnable. Absolutely stunning views and great scenery.

Lauren Mai Anderson

January 12, 2022

Absolutely awesome trails! The Aurora loop was a nice warm up prior to the Kanuka loop which was hilly. Navigation was easy with both tracks being poled and directions between well-described. Cool terrain, cool remnants of the towns and the mining.

Holly Barclay

June 25, 2021

So much more than I expected! Lots to stop and look at on the Aurora trail and then Kanuka was something else! Great trail Kieran, thanks.

Lucy Mills

October 20, 2020

A hidden gem. Good mix of terrain. Love the technical bits. Awesome scenery!

Deo Encarnacion

January 28, 2018

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These overlap with this trail to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate activity for each.

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