Last Updated: 20th Oct 2023

Intermediate - Experienced

Save Trail Save

I've done it Done


Glenorchy, Otago

Submitted by James Harcombe

Last Updated: 20th Oct 2023

Intermediate - Experienced

Save Trail Save

I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 86 ?

Gnarl Factor: 41 ?








Login as a VIP to see driving directions, distance and time.

Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush

Open farmlands

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +6.4%

Average Downhill Gradient: -6.7%


Login as a VIP to see the trailhead information.

Estimated Times to Run







Follow the obvious marked route from the car park. At the first swingbridge, you will need to cross through two gates and head up the hill. At the next big swingbridge (confluence of Greenstone and Caples rivers) you have a choice of heading up the Caples first (stay on the true left of the river) or the Greenstone (cross the bridge and follow the marker poles). The recommended route is Caples first as the climb to McKellar saddle is less daunting from this side. Either way, the track is well marked with poles and orange triangles.

If you know of any public toilets near the trail start or on the route, please login and then let us know so we can update this section.

DOC car park at the end of the road has toilets and running water (Summer only). Public transport is available from Queenstown and Glenorchy, but is of no use if you want to run the track as it operates on a limited timetable.

35 km

69 minutes




The track is mostly very obvious.


Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, Short-sleeved thermal top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions)

There are numerous small creeks along the way. Water is never an issue on this track, as long as your comfortable drinking from mountain streams.

The Greenstone is boggy at the best of times. Expect to get wet feet! The crossing of the McKellar Saddle can be difficult in Winter, and cold at any time of the year.

Both tracks are susceptible to tree falls and can be dangerous in very windy conditions, and slow going after storms!

Kinloch Lodge
Great selection of bottle beer (considering the remoteness!). Friendly atmosphere and cosy accommodation options.

Trail Legend


Ben Gatting

has completed Greenstone/Caples once in the last year.

Learn about Trail Legends.

You and Greenstone/Caples

As a VIP member you can record private notes for this trail, see all of your times and more.

Register Now

Already have an account? Login now

Trail Reviews

As there had been a lot of rain overnight, the grassy areas were running with new streams which made it quite swampy but otherwise most of it was runnable. We stayed in Slip Flat hut so had a 8km head start then completed the 52kms on the second day with a light pack.

Anna Scheirlinck

January 3

Awesome loop. Very runnable but reasonably techy underfoot with tree roots and rocks. Be prepared for wet feet depending on the time of year you do it. The vert is minimal and high point is under 1000m. Once you get up near the saddle some huge peaks pop up above you - awesome scenery. Easy to follow track and well marked with a number of doc signs and each intersection.

James Brewer

September 20, 2020

A nice variation on the finish is to pop out via Lake Rere. Lots of history here in terms of old school tourists who used to daytrip in many moons ago from Kinloch

Tony Sharpe

August 19, 2019

Really runnable trail, perfect for an overnight at McKellar, then over to Caples the next day!

Miriam Bartlett

February 1, 2019

Login to submit a review

Trail Running Community

Find people who are interested in or have completed this trail run.

You must register or login to view this feature.

Register Now

Other trails nearby
Glenorchy Wetlands

Glenorchy Wetlands

Length: 5.0km

Level: Beginner



Length: 54.0km

Level: Intermediate - Experienced

Serpentine Lakes Lasso

Serpentine Lakes Lasso

Length: 36.4km

Level: Very Experienced

Rees - Cascade

Rees - Cascade

Length: 55.0km

Level: Experienced

Find more trails and peaks nearby