Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Frankton to Morven Hill Return

Queenstown, Otago

Submitted by Matthew Pester

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Grunt Factor: 27 ?

Gnarl Factor: 12 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, small hills only

Dog Friendly


Run Makeup


Sealed Road

Easy Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +2.9%

Average Downhill Gradient: -2.9%


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Estimated Times to Run







The track is very easy to follow and is suitable for bikes and feet. From the preschool you will see the start of the track at the wooden fence labelled Twin Rivers Trail. From there you follow it around the Kawarau river to the gravel area. Keep following the main trail (you cant miss it, it is about 4m wide). Run under the Shotover river bridge alongside the Shotover river now. There is a short 100m steep section, when you get to the top go around the toilets heading forward still and down over the old Shotover bridge. Hang a right looking for the Twin Rivers Trail markers that you have been seeing along the trail.

Back under the main Shotover bridge and up again along through a small sealed section. Down the hill to the trail again. In about a km you will be back alongside the Kawarau river runnnning under a heap of willow trees. You will run past the river side of Shotover Country and Lake Hayes and carry on until you get to the cattle grate for the bottom of Morven Hill (distance from where you meet back up to the Kawarau river and Morevn Hill is approx 7km). From there turn around and come on back!

Beautiful side river trail. Lots of friendly faces. Can be exposed so slip slop slap.

If you know of any public toilets near the trail start or on the route, please login and then let us know so we can update this section.

Heaps of road side parking

8 km

11 minutes




Perfect throughout.

Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map

Minimal water along the way. I carried 2L in a bladder and I used most of it over 2.5 hours. The reason for this is that the lake (Whakatipu) can have elevated levels of e-coli during summer. Even though the rivers a high flow, there is still a chance of contamination.

Good all year round!

Odelay - for a coffee!
Frankton near Repco, opposite New World supermarket
Great coffee

Trail Legend

Brad Geen

Brad Geen

has completed Frankton to Morven Hill Return once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

FYI, this track has opened again.

Paul Nicholas

February 1, 2022

Hi Paul.
As of 17/01/2021 the track between Shotover and Lake Hayes is open with a new boardwalk erected over the slipway area.

Matthew Pester

January 26, 2022

* as at 12/01/2022 the track is closed from Shotover -> Lake Hayes estate. No ETA for opening

Paul Nicholas

January 13, 2022

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