Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

I've done it Done

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Mt Pisa via Kirtle Burn Track

Wanaka, Otago

Submitted by Sierra Alef-Defoe

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

I've done it Done

Save Trail Save


Grunt Factor: 25

Gnarl Factor: 6





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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, small hills only

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +5.9%

Average Downhill Gradient: -5.9%


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Estimated Times to Run







From Snow Farm, follow signs for "Meadow Hut"/"easiest track to all huts"/"River Run." 

At about 3.5 km, pass Meadow Hut. Just after Meadow Hut, a 4wd track with a DOC sign labeling Pisa Conservation Area leads towards Kirtle Burn hut. After Kirtle Burn Hut it's a further 2.5 km up to the Mt Pisa summit.

The summit itself is the top of a large boulder, scramble up it to find a tiny LINZ plaque (no trig).

On the way back, instead of turning back down to Kirtle Burn hut, make things interesting by following the trail straight instead; it will drop you back down in Snow Farm just a little further along from Meadow Hut.

Head back towards Meadow Hut and back out the way you came!

Other-worldly rock formations.

37 km

41 minutes




Near the summit, this trail connects with 4WD tracks traversing the Pisa range where you could go north to Queensberry or south to Kawarau Gorge. Go back down the way you came unless you wish for a longer mission!

Generally good.

Windproof jacket, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Cellphone.

It's possible to get water from both the Kirtle Burn and Roaring Meg.

This track can only be done on foot in the summertime. When Snow Farm is open, it could be done by snow shoe or cross country ski. The Pisa ridgeline has no tree cover, so you're very exposed to wind, rain, sun, etc. And near winter season, there can be snow!

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