Last Updated: 20th Sep 2023


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Greenstone Hut via Lake Rere

Glenorchy, Otago

Submitted by Sierra Alef-Defoe

Last Updated: 20th Sep 2023


I've done it Done

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Grunt Factor: 46

Gnarl Factor: 40





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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote


Undulating, small hills only

Native bush



Open farmlands

Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +6.6%

Average Downhill Gradient: -6.6%


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Estimated Times to Run







A lovely run on the Greenstone via Elfin Bay & Lake Rere! As of this writing in 2023, the Greenstone Valley has become home to takahē, making this run an opportunity to see one of Aotearoa's most precious native birds.

Starting from the Greenstone-Caples carpark at the very end of the Kinloch/Greenstone Station Road, take the first bridge over the Greenstone River towards Elfin Bay to begin the Lake Rere loop. From the paddock at the beginning, there is a stunning view of Pikirakatahi / Mt Earnslaw, as well as of the Richardson Mountains across Lake Whakatipu.

At Elfin Bay, there is a lovely dock where one could stop for an early break to enjoy a dip in the lake. From here the trail leaves Lake Whakatipu and heads up towards Lake Rere. Lake Rere is a small shallow lake that is often mirrored, making for a great photo stop.

A couple kilometres after Lake Rere, the track leads to a bridge across the Greenstone River linking to the main Greenstone track -- turn left towards the hut! The track towards Greenstone Hut crosses a few streams; in fine weather they're no hazard, but you'll probably get your feet wet.

To get to Greenstone Hut, it's a 5-min turn-off from the main track, with another bridge across the Greenstone River -- this one providing views over an impressive gorge. The hut is a great place to stop for a break and use the toilet before turning around and heading back via the Greenstone Track!

As of this writing in 2023, there are still cattle in the Greenstone Valley, so drinking from the Greenstone River is not advisable. However side streams on the NW side of the Greenstone track (coming down from Home Hill area) are likely to be fine to drink.

This track is usually well-maintained and well-signposted. Although the elevation gain is considerable, it happens very gradually, so there are very few sections that would be too steep to run for most people.

Lake Whakatipu, Lake Rere, & the Greenstone River - which as of 2023 is now home to takahē!

Parking available at trailhead, no known safety issues. Unfortunately no public transport. There are toilets at the trailhead. The Kinloch Road has a few fords that can flood in severe rain.

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Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map, Gaiters.

Due to cattle in the Greenstone valley, it is not advisable to drink from the Greenstone river unless you are prepared to filter/treat the water. On the way back down the Greenstone, side streams coming down from the NW (ie Home Hill) would be a safer bet.

This track is generally safe to do all year, although prepare to get your feet wet if it's not high summer! Additionally the Kinloch-Greenstone Station Road has a few fords that can flood, so do not go out during or just after a severe rain.

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Overlapping Trails

These overlap with this trail 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 activity for each.



Length: 61.0km

Level: Intermediate - Experienced

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