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The Elephant, Otago

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The ElephantBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Stu Houston

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, some big hills

Open farmlands
Open ridges/tops

Beginner - Intermediate

7:00 (Slow)
5:00 (Moderate)
3:30 (Fast)



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Park at the Elephant Rocks carpark and take a wander down to look at the rocks to warm up. Then follow the Alps To Ocean Trail all the way to the old Rakis rail Tunnel and turn around after running through it.

The trail is pretty much a gravel cycling trail although there are sections that you follow roads. The trail is well sign posted but carry a map. The trail is undulating with many hills but they are nice gradients. The road sections of the trail are a bit of a pain but the trail sections make it worth the hassle and are great running. You don't have to do the full 20km - even just the first 6 km from the rocks is on a sweet little trail !!

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Features of interest

Elephant Rocks at start are pretty neat and there are many cliffs along the way which have fossils to see. Run through the old Rakis rail tunnel at the turn around.

Make Up of Run

Moderate Single Track: 5%

Easy Single Track: 57%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 10%

Gravel Road: 15%

Sealed Road: 13%

Route Data


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Overlapping Runs

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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Start is at Elephant Rocks on Island Cliffs Duntroon Road

    No public transport but plenty big car park

    40 km

    35 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Take a map - the trail is well sign posted but signs go missing so better to be safe as this area is a labyrinth of roads.

    Generally good.

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

    Take water with you as there is no water available and DON'T drink from any stream this is dairy farm country.

    Trail is exposed in places so take windproof layer. !!

    Watch out for mountain bikers - this isn't a busy section of the Alps 2 Ocean but keep an ear open. Beware spring and nesting magpies - be ready to duck !!

  • Post run indulgence

    Anything in Oamaru

    Pink Pig
    Great pies cafe isnt always open though.

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