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Greenstone/Caples, Otago

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Greenstone/CaplesIntermediate - Experienced

Submitted by James Harcombe

Info Info
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Trail Information







Back country - remote


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush
Open farmlands
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops

Intermediate - Experienced

11:00 (Slow)
9:00 (Moderate)
7:00 (Fast)



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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.

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Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 10%

Moderate Single Track: 70%

Easy Single Track: 20%

Route Data


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  • Access

    Start of track is at the end of the gravel road leading on from Kinloch. This road passes through 3 fords, and should only be driven in dry weather.

    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



  • Staying Safe


    Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .

    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!

  • Post run indulgence

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

  • Sponsor this trail

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


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