Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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I've done it Done

Locharburn to Lake McKay

Cromwell, Otago

Submitted by Kieran Philip

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 42 ?

Gnarl Factor: 36 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back


Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +13.9%

Average Downhill Gradient: -13.9%


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Estimated Times to Run







Starting at the road, head up the hill. Probably not a lot of running in this first part... head up, following roughly the fencline. There is no track, but following the fence will bring you to the Lochaburn Scenic Reserve, then through this to private land. Continue following the fence over the stile, you will eventually meet the farm road. Once on the road, follow this and the signs up on to the top of the Pisa Range and along to Lake McKay. Turn around here and head back the same way.

Great views over the Upper Clutha Valley. Schist tors towering over you. Alpine lake to have a quick swim in.

There is no actual carpark around, I found the best scenario was to park on the shoulder of the road pointing towards Cromwell. Car is out in the open, so is nice and obvious and unlikely to be tampered with.

22 km

15 minutes




Follow the fenceline.

Generally good.

Waterproof leggings, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map

There is the lake up top, but other than that, water is pretty sparce.

Can be very changeable, even in summer. Be prepared with some warm clothes as it is very exposed up on top when the rough weather does roll in.

You and Locharburn to Lake McKay

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Trail Reviews

One of my favourite trails in the area for its epic views and really cool rock formations up top. The first section is tough going straight up hill. Be careful to follow instructions as to where to go, especially in the first part. I would recommend you go with someone who has been before so you don't get lost. Also make sure conditions are ok up top. Tends to get a lot of snow up there in winter time and can get very very cold

Rachel Bridgewater

May 15, 2020

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