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Rock and Pillars VK, Otago

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Rock and Pillars VKIntermediate

Submitted by Kev Knowles

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back


Open farmlands
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops


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



Check the DOC site for updated information. Generally this track is open all year round.

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There pretty much isn't a flat section in the route. Starts off uphill and then gets steeper, relenting near the top. The route is poled as far as Big Hut. You will cross into sub-alpine vegetation and you will pass Big Hut near to the top. Best route from the hut to Summit Rock is to follow the 4WD track and then turn left along a fence line to the summit. There is a trig [base] at the high point of the range.

Retrace you route ALL the way back down to your starting point. It's only an 1100m climb! It is possible to traverse either NE or SW from the top and put in a mega day on the tops. In poor weather/visibility good equipment and navigation skills are essential.

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Features of interest

Classic Otago schist country. Extensive views from the top, all the way to Mt Aspiring. Alpine flora and fauna on the tops [wetas included]

Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 60%

Moderate Single Track: 40%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    The Glencreag Track in DOC's "Tracks in the Rock and Pillar Conservation Area" brochure

    Drive 6km North of Middlemarch and turn left onto a farm track beside a DOC sign. A couple of kms brings you to a some farm buildings and the starting point.

    See the DOC brochure.

    6 km

    4 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    The DOC track markers only go up to Big Hut, from there you need to be able to navigate to the summit. Easy in good visibility but potentially dangerous in cloud/fog.


    Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof 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).

    Stream near top before Big Hut, water tank at hut. May be frozen in winter.

    It's alpine in winter!

  • Post run indulgence

    Strath Taieri Hotel
    Good country food, beer on tap. What more do you need?

    Kissing Gate Cafe

  • Sponsor this trail

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


See other runs nearby:

Rock and Pillars Loop

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