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Atley Track, Otago

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Atley TrackBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by James Harcombe

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops

Beginner - Intermediate

4:00 (Slow)
3:00 (Moderate)
2:00 (Fast)



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From the Skippers saddle, head left, over the stile and continue up the 4WD road to Mt.Dewar. Just before the top, the DOC track heads down and to the left. Continue down for a few hundred metres, before bearing right across a stile and towards the northern ridge (the track to the left is marked to Devil's Creek).

Once over the stile, follow the orange standards along the 4WD track. As you descend towards the Shotover River, take care to keep sight of the markers, as the track forks in many places! Eventually, you'll reach an old mining hut, on the bench above the river. From here, turn right, heading upstream and follow the markers on the obvious track. The single track here is spectacular, with great views of the Shotover River. Take care with your footing though, as there are several steep drop offs!

After several Km's, the track heads away from the Shotover, and starts to climb, eventually turning left at a large DoC sign - follow this over a stile and the marked route takes you down to the Skippers Canyon Road. Take care not to miss this turn, as the more obvious track continues on through private land, straight ahead. Once back on the road, turn right and follow it back up to the Saddle.

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Features of interest

Old gold mining relics and buildings along the route.

Make Up of Run

Moderate Single Track: 40%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 30%

Gravel Road: 30%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Start is from the Skippers Saddle, off the Coronet Peak access road.

    Parking is available immediately after the turn off from the Coronet Peak Road, from where it's a short warm up jog to the saddle. There is limited parking at the saddle itself, though in the summer, it's often taken up with mountain bikers cars.

    13 km

    17 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    For the most part, the track is obvious and well marked. Care is required on the lower part of the descent to the hut though, as the 4WD track splits in many places, and the orange standards are not always obvious. The track down to the Skippers Road can also be missed if you're not paying attention!


    Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, Short-sleeved thermal top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof 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).

    There is no water until about the halfway mark (the track between the hut and the Skippers road has several small streams). In the summer it can be extremely hot in the valley.

    Super hot in the summer. Freezing cold in the winter, with plenty of ice and snow to be expected.

    The single track back to the road from the hut doesn't get much use, so can be overgrown at times. Take care of the drop offs that can be covered with vegetation.
    If you explore the dam/reservoir at the point the track leaves the river there are several large hidden cracks!

  • Post run indulgence

    Smiths Brewery
    Shotover Street, Queenstown
    Best beer selection in town, and the loaded fries are to die for after a run!

    Atlas Beer Cafe
    Steamer Wharf, Queenstown
    Great selection of beer, and the best value steak in town!

    The Fork and Tap
    Wholesome food, good selection of wine and beer, great Southern hospitality!

  • Sponsor this trail

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


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