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Bald Hill Climb , Southland

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Bald Hill Climb Intermediate

Submitted by Bryan Stout

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Very hilly

Native bush
Plantation/exotic forest
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops


Not Suitable (Slow)
4:00 (Moderate)
2:30 (Fast)



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Tracks in the Longwoods are notoriously muddy. This makes for a challenging ascent over the many tree roots etc, pushing off/up from a soft ground footing.

Follow the 4wd forestry road as it winds upward approx 5km to the end. Note the Te Araroa Trail markers beside the road/track once you leave the forestry block. At the road end, enter the bush and continue your ascent. Carefully follow the orange triangle track markers toward Bald Hill for approx 4km more. The final km ascends across tussock and low scrub and is marked by orange poles before arriving at the trig and transmission tower.

Retrace your steps to return to the start.

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Features of interest

Bald Hill trig, and scenic view (weather dependent)

Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 40%

Moderate Single Track: 10%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 50%

Route Data


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  • Access

    Turn south off Otautau- Tuatapere Road. Drive approx 3.3km down Merrivale Road till the gravel road enters the bush as a forestry track.

    Park on side of the secluded rural road. No public transport option. Best take a phone and let others know of your plans.

    18 km

    16 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Once in the bush, watch for orange triangles regularly. Be prepared to back track for 10-20m if you can't see any ahead of you, as the track winds about a little to avoid long-fallen logs and boggy patches.


    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.

    Water available at start and end only; from Merry Creek, accessed a short distance down a 4WD track that departs Merrivale Road on the left-hand side, just beyond the final farm paddock.

    Parts of this run are likely to be very, very muddy for much of the year. Definitely best in summer, but may still be muddy if there has been recent rain. Also may be exposed at/on the top as the tree line is 800m from the summit.

    Lots of fallen branches and trees to navigate (consider wearing calf socks or trail-gators), and a few good bogs (make sure your shoes are tied on well & rinse them off in Merry Creek on your way out!)

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