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Cromwell Gorge and Cairnmuir Loop, Otago

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Cromwell Gorge and Cairnmuir LoopBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Kieran Philip

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible


Very hilly

Open farmlands
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops

Beginner - Intermediate

4:30 (Slow)
3:30 (Moderate)
2:30 (Fast)



Closed for lambing during 15Oct - 15Nov

The first part of this route is closed due to landslip management. The cycleway track can be used to begin the route instead.

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Starting at the DOC carpark, head up the 4WD track, at about 1.5km you'll come to a wee saddle - the DOC track heads up the hill to the right (this is where you'll come out), but stick to the road and head down to the left. You'll come to a gate at the next saddle and go through this and stay on this track for the next 8km or so as you weave in and out of the gullies on your way down the lake. You'll eventually get to the bluffs, at this point follow the track up the hill. This is the big climb, pretty simple to follow the track, just plod your way up! At the top, go through the gate and head down the DOC track back to the carpark. There are signposts and yellow markers on your way down.

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Features of interest

Cairnmuir Slip - large reinforcements to stop the hillside from sliding into the lake and busting the Clyde Dam... Central Otago views.

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 4%

Technical Single Track: 0%

Moderate Single Track: 0%

Easy Single Track: 0%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 80%

Gravel Road: 16%

Route Data


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Overlapping Runs

The following trails overlap with this run 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 Strava activity for each

Cairnmuir Hill

Cairnmuir Hill

Length: 26.70km

Cairnmuir to Clyde

Cairnmuir to Clyde

Length: 26.90km


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    DOC carpark on Cornish Point Rd (just before the road turns to gravel).

    There is a parking area just off Cornish Point Rd. Small, but nice and clear, never had any security issues.

    11 km

    13 minutes


    Name: Al Hamilton - Cairnmuir Station
    Telephone: 0274791858

  • Staying Safe



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

    Very little, especially in summer.

    Snow on tops at times, very windy and exposed often on the tops.

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    If you are interested in learning about sponsorship opportunities, please get in touch below:


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