Upper Pipeclay TrackIntermediate
Submitted by Kieran Philip
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Front country - easily accessible
Open farmlandsOpen tussock/grasslandsOpen ridges/tops
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Starting at the carpark on Felton Road, follow the track through the Slucings up to Stewart Town. Cross the stile to the left of the town area and head down to Pipeclay Gully Road carpark. Head up the road and take a right hand turn at the intersection. About 50m onwards lake a left in through the Tennacreif Wines gate (public right of way) and follow the gravel road through which then turns on to a wee access track that passes through a few gates.
After the second gate, hop over the little stream and then take a left up the road up the hill. At the top of this small rise you'll see the Carricktown track carpark. Follow the Carricktown track uphill for the next 7.5km up past the Young Australian Water Wheel (you'll pass it on your left). You're on the look out for a DOC sign on your right which points you towards the Potters Creek reserve. Follow this track for 200m, jump the gate and then take a hard right.
Follow this fence line on your right hand side for the next 2km, these sheep tracks are the Upper Pipeclay Track. Following the tracks (go around the last big hill to the left) you'll reach a well defined farm track. Take a right and follow this towards Cromwell. Keep the fence on your right on the wee saddle and continue on a little more. You'll see a track on the other side of the fence heading up to the top of the hill, climb over and follow this track up (same route as Mt Difficulty Ascent takes if you've done that).
At the top of this hill, you reach a 4-way fence intersection. Head over towards "front left" which is the corner of the Long Gully Bluffs Conservation Area. Make your way down through this for about 2kms, with the fence on your right you'll see a stile to climb over and join a nice farm track which will lead you back down to the bottom of the hill, where you'll join the Long Gully track and back in to Stewart Town. Take a left and head back through the Sluicings to your vehicle.
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Features of interest
Old gold mining relics on the way up (Carricktown, Young Australian Water Wheel), lots of classic Central Otago views.
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 10%
Moderate Single Track: 15%
Easy Single Track: 25%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 50%
Bannockburn Sluicings carpark on Felton Rd, Bannockburn
Plenty of parking. Well used, good to keep valuable out of sight.
Thermal leggings, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries.
Water race on the way up to top of Carrick Range is ok to drink.
Very unpleasant in poor weather. Can be bitterly cold in the wind, as there is no cover.
Lots of spaniards and briar in the Conservation area can tear your legs to shreds...
Post run indulgence
Black Rabbit Cafe
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See other runs nearby:
Welshtown via Koinga, Kanuka and Logantown
Cromwell to Clyde
Kawarau River Track
Mt Horn Loop
Mt Horn via Sheepcamp and Bikewheel
Northburn Pylon Track
Aurora and Kanuka Loops
Pisa Moorings Meander
Roaring Meg Pack Track
Cairnmuir to Clyde
Mt Apiti via Castle Rock
Mt Pisa via Tinwald Burn Ridge
Cromwell Gorge and Cairnmuir Loop
Locharburn to Lake McKay
Lowburn to Deep Creek
Grandview Ridge Track
Potters Creek Loop
Mt Difficulty Loop
Lost The Tracks - Otago Central Rail Trail