Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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I've done it Done

Benmore Peninsula Track

Omarama, Otago

Submitted by Mike Tennent

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 10 ?

Gnarl Factor: 45 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Very hilly

Dog Friendly

Plantation/exotic forest


Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +13.8%

Average Downhill Gradient: -13.4%


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Estimated Times to Run







The track is pretty straight forward, we did it anti-clockwise which I would recommend. To get the most out of the trail keep taking the right-hand option at each intersection. At one stage this will take you out along a ridge to the best lookout spot where you pause your Garmin and take in the views. At another point after that the trail off to the right is easy to miss so be alert.
Also around this point the main trail appears to take a sharp left hand turn and a less defined trail goes right... still take the right one onto a nice bit of semi-technical trail with some more great views.
Finally... especially if it is hot, when you get back to the carpark fence, take a sharp left down the last bit of hill to the lake where you can add a bit of distance, soak your legs and then add a bit more vert climbing back up the hill to the car.

You get an overview of the Benmore Dam, which is the largest Earth Dam in the country and the largest in the Waitaki System. But the real highlight is the view down the Eastern end of Lake Benmore with (on a fine day) Mount Cook visible in the distance.

Parking is on sealed carpark, but is only as safe as any other tourist carpark in the country. Take valuables with you or hide them very well.

30 km

25 minutes




All the turns will take you back to the start, the trail is enclosed on a peninsula, however to get the most from the trail follow my instructions above.


Thermal leggings, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map

On the actual track there is no water... only at the end... while the lake is pretty much always visible, getting down to it is not safe for most of the route

Only run it the once on a gorgeous summer day... think it would be pretty runnable all year long... but I would imagine in winter it could get very very cold and wet and icy.

The footing in a few places requires care as the fall would be long and painful.

Wrinkly Ram Cafe
Eaten there several times and never be let down. My running partner on the day had the same suggestion even though it was 24km from the run in the opposite direction to the one we needed to head home.

Trail Legend

Bryan Clough

Bryan Clough

has completed Benmore Peninsula Track once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Awesome trail and family loved it ..amazing views the whole way. And great place for a swim afterwards

Adam Clifford

January 12

A great wee trail with fantastic views from the ridge line (think Mount Cook, Benmore Islands and you really get a sense for how big Lake Benmore actually is). Worth a stop to stretch your legs on your way through the Mackenzie Country. Only docked it a star because of the recent deforestation (on the south side of the hill) but I expect it will start to look a bit better again here in another 10 yrs!

Daniel Pettigrew

November 30, 2022

She’s a goodie! Amazing views even on an overcast day!

Lauren Mai Anderson

March 5, 2022

Great short trail, an excellent family-friendly trip with bonus views.

Fiona Stechmann

March 22, 2020

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