Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Fern Burn Hut

Wanaka, Otago

Submitted by Mal Law

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 25 ?

Gnarl Factor: 59 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush


Open farmlands

Open tussock/grasslands

Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +12.6%

Average Downhill Gradient: -12.6%


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Estimated Times to Run







The first 2.7k is a nice warm up on easy single track following the marker poles. Once through the second deer fence you enter the beech forest and undulate alongside Fern Burn to reach a footbridge. Once over the bridge the gradient steepens dramatically and the trail gets very technical in places.
Once above the bush you enter tussock country within a gorged section of Fern Burn. The final couple of kms sidle above the stream, mostly climbing but sometimes descending to reach Fern Burn Hut.
Once you've taken a breather on the deck of this beautifully positioned hut and drunk in the views start re-tracing your steps and enjoy the mostly downhill run back to your car.

A beautiful section of native beech forest, open tussock country and great views.

Plenty of parking on opposite side of road to trailhead. Also a toilet and information board.

15 km

16 minutes




The trail is generally well marked, just keep a close eye out for the red triangle markers on trees in the bush section

Very patchy.

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

The water in Fern Burn is fine once in the bush or higher up. Also water at the hut.

Muddy after heavy rain, can be icy in winter particularly if starting early.

Nothing more than the usual hazards associated with technical trail. Take care if not confident on root/rocky stuff.

Trail Legend

Rimma Kade

Rimma Kade

has completed Fern Burn Hut twice in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

I had high expectations for this run based on other reviews, and felt like it didn't meet them. The forest section was a lot less runnable than expected, and then once I left the forest I still found it quite unrunnable due to the narrowness of the track and how overgrown it was - having such a steep drop off you really don't want to mess up your footing! The hut was a nice break in the middle, and the downhill was more enjoyable, but it was definitely not as runnable and fun as I hoped.

Jennifer Tregurtha

February 10

Beautiful trail, mixture of all sorts of terrain, did it after heavy rain which did not really affect it. The forest section is gorgeous and the location of the hut is awesome. Great little run

Jakub Kanok

May 29, 2023

A fantastic trail

Mike Kerr

June 8, 2022

Loved this trail, it’s got a bit of everything. Pure trail joy.

Raewyn Peters

March 9, 2021

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