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Timaru Creek Loop, Otago

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Timaru Creek LoopIntermediate

Submitted by Ben Wallbank

Info Info
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Trail Information






Lake Hawea

Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush


3:00 (Slow)
2:30 (Moderate)
1:45 (Fast)



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The best way to describe this is like a mini Goats Pass! It's awesome fun, and not without some bumps to get you working! The loop can be done in either direction. Clockwise has you doing the ascent first and wet feet int he second half. Anti-clockwise has river crossings first, and a steep grunt second half. Either way, you're going 'up' and getting wet. The Timaru River is STRONG! DO NOT ATTEMPT THE LOOP AFTER HEAVY RAIN! With no rain, you can expect some crossings to be around a meter deep, and it's flowing. If the river appears overly brown or completly chalky, don't do it.

The high track (clockwise) is accessed over the bridge at the carpark, the track is on your right 50m up the gravel road. This is well marked and takes you past the Corner Peak track. Just keep going. At some point it might have been a farm track, but it's far too narrow now, with lots of rock hopping to be done. You'll descend this to a large braided part of the Timaru River. There are no marker poles from here. Basically, exit the bush and turn right, heading downstream.....a map/gps is a good idea for this one.

You go downstream for a couple of k's, picking your own lines. The track will begin again on the true left of the river. There is an orange marker on a pole. From here is it gets seriously fun!! Follow the route, scramble over boulders, pick your lines. There are several river crossings now to get back to the car park. Going in this direction is actually easier to see the markers. Doing the anti-clockwise route actually poses some difficulty as the poles aren't that visible until you're almost on them. Either way, enjoy it, be just be aware of the depth and flow. We can't emphasise just how misleading the strength of this relatively small river is. Back to the car park for a dip in the river just up stream from the bridge.

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Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 20%

Technical Single Track: 40%

Easy Single Track: 30%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 10%

Route Data


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Overlapping Runs

The following trails overlap with this run 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 Strava activity for each

Dingle & Corner

Dingle & Corner

Length: 28.50km


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Timaru Creek Road. Just outside Lake Hawea. Drive up the gravel 4x4 road (small fords exist) and descend into Timaru Creek with obvious parking and signage.

    6 km

    11 minutes



  • Staying Safe



    Short-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map, Gaiters.

    The river 'should' be fine, but treatment tablets are generally a good idea.

    Not after rain.

    River River River!

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