Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Swampy Ridge Track

Waitati, Otago

Submitted by Corey Woodward

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 17 ?

Gnarl Factor: 43 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush

Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +10.3%

Average Downhill Gradient: -10.3%


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Estimated Times to Run







Head up from the trail head on easy single track for about 1k and then you'll see a sign on your right for Swampy Ridge Track and Summit. This trail is not used as much and can be quite grassy and overgrown in places but it is easy to see where the trail is and there are even orange snow pole markers. Having wondered how a ridge could be described as swampy it soon became obvious, there are some quite boggy patches but it was possible to traverse without going full brown shoe. However, after significant rain this trail could become quite the mudfest. Significant effort has been made in places to lay down cut manuka sticks and these were very useful. There was evidence of cattle movements (prints as well), didn't see any in the flesh but keep an eye out.

This trail includes the peak Hightop.

Great views of the Dunedin surrounds (Blueskin Bay, Taeri Plains, Mosgiel, etc) from the summit, but not the city itself.

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The road verge is wide enough for a few cars to park here, there is a turning area a hundred metres or so down the road. Please note the road can be rough and large pot holes exist, take care. 4WD not required when dry, some of the steeper bits might be interesting after rain.

13 km

29 minutes




There are a few side tracks, but these as named and quite obviously not Swampy Ridge, which is also clearly labeled.


Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map

No water supply available, BYO.

Would get very muddy after rain. Some angled terrain would require considerable caution after rain to avoid falls (no significant drops).

Where sticks have been laid to help negotiate the mud there are gaps and sticks that shift, care is required to not twist ankles. Cattle also occassionally leave large holes when walking through the mud, avoid those too. Mountain bikers do use this trail and as such parts of the trail have associated ruts.

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Trail Reviews

If you happen to run this on a clear, blue Dunedin day, you're in for stunning views of the Silver Peaks and the surrounding east Otago hills out towards Blueskin Bay. It was frosty on the exposed parts of the track today and muddy on the covered middle parts. I did this run after several days of dry local weather, and it was still quite muddy in the middle, but short lived. This is an easy track to follow, with good signposting and an obvious route. It's great for connecting to the Silver Peaks Classic Loop (and a few others in the Silver Peaks), from all the Dunedin tracks. Don't be fooled by the blue sky, it's pretty chilly up there (May).

Liane Gardner

May 20, 2020

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Overlapping Trails

These overlap with this trail 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 activity for each.

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