Wild Things - New Zealand's trail running community
New Zealand's trail running community


don't have an account?

Fernhill Loop, Otago

Trail Directory proudly supported by Further Faster

Update Your Header Picture

Fernhill LoopBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by James Harcombe

Info Info
Map Loading

Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible


Very hilly

Native bush
Plantation/exotic forest
Open tussock/grasslands

Beginner - Intermediate

1:30 (Slow)
1:10 (Moderate)
0:55 (Fast)



Download PDF Guide

Fastest Known Times (FKTs)

Please set your gender to see your position on the FKT leaderboards.


Show more


Show more

Filter FKTs

The more , the harder the FKT will be to beat. Learn about Fastest Known Times.

Missing your time?

Register or login as a VIP and get yourself on the FKT leaderboard!

Register Now


Head up the gravel track from the car park, until you reach the old power station. Turn right at this point and follow the obvious walking track. Cross the MTB track and continue on until you reach a wide footpath (about 5 mins walk). At this point turn left, then almost immediately right. From this point, the track is marked with orange arrows. After the first set of steep steps, the track traverses for a while before splitting in two next to an old tree stump. At this point, you will need to turn right uphill. Do not go downhill, as the track is difficult to pick up again from this left turn. Continue up through native beech, following the old pipeline and the orange markers.
At the dam you will need to follow the track to the right and continue on to a large clearance, that is usually occupied by downhill bikers nursing their wounds! You will need to join the obvious 4WD track for about 10m's, keeping a lookout for the track heading off to the left. It has track markers, and is parallel to the MTB track coming in from the left. Once you're on this track, navigation is pretty straightforward and obvious!
There is a river crossing that's normally quite easy, though could be dangerous in real wet conditions. The descent through the pine forest towards Fernhill, follows red tagged warratahs. Do keep your eye on these, as there are several MTB tracks that go off in a more obvious direct descent.
When you reach the bike park, you will need to turn right, then left, and descend through the middle of the bike park to join the wide footpath the other side. Turn left and head down. This then connects with the first junction you encountered on the way up.

Trail Community

Find people who are interested in this run.

You must register or login to view this content.

Features of interest

The track starts at the site of Queenstown's original power generator. There is an information board detailing this historic site (worth a read!). The track also follows the original pipeline, and passes the dam that supplied the water. At the first major clearance, it's not uncommon to spot Kea....

Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 30%

Moderate Single Track: 40%

Easy Single Track: 30%

Route Data


You must register or login to view this content.

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


You must register or login to view this content.

Your Trail Wishlist

All the runs that are on your To Do list (no limit).

Add to wishlist view wishlist

Your Trail Dreamlist

The runs you most want to do (limited to 10).

Add to dreamlist view dreamlist

Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Track start is up the gravel road that leads off from the North of the Fernhill Roundabout.

    There is plenty of parking at the end of the aforementioned gravel road. Fernhill Roundabout is a short jog (5mins) from the centre of town.

    2 km

    5 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Please refer to route description.

    Generally good.

    Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions).

    There is a tap at the Midway Clearance (where the mountain bikers converge!). The tap is however disconnected during the Winter months. There are two creek crossings along the way.

    Snow is often encountered on the exposed upper sections. As the track isn't very high, the snow tends to thaw and re-freeze, making for some pretty slippery conditions. The upper section tends to be muddy after rain.

    As mentioned, the One Mile Creek crossing could be hazardous after very heavy rain. Watch out for the tree roots on the upper section.

  • Post run indulgence

    Smiths Brewery
    Shotover Street
    Best selection of craft beer in town, and awesome fries!

  • Sponsor this trail

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


Got a favourite trail? Tell us about it.

Share the love and add your favourite trail(s) to our growing trail directory.

Submit A Trail

Become a member today

Start enjoying the many benefits to becoming a member of our thriving community.

Become a member

Great brands at great prices with our VIP member's discount

Stay up to date

Sign up to our newsletter for latest offers and trail guides

Share this trail with a friend:

VIP Membership

Please register as a VIP or login to your VIP account to view this content.

Cancel Login Register

Membership Required

You can see up to three trail guides without being logged in but after that we require you to be logged in to your Free or VIP account. If you don’t yet have an account you can register here.

Login Register