Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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A Whale of a Trail

Riverton, Southland

Submitted by Corey Woodward

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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I've done it Done

Grunt Factor: 6 ?

Gnarl Factor: 9 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Urban fringe

Out and Back

Undulating, small hills only

Dog Friendly



Run Makeup


Sealed Road

Easy Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +3.1%

Average Downhill Gradient: -3.5%


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Estimated Times to Run







This trail pays homage to Riverton's early whaling history. Starting at the mouth of the river, with a large whale sculpture and blubber pots, and finishing at Howell's Point, named after Captain John Howell who established the whaling station at Riverton, arguably the first European settlement in New Zealand, and later married into the local Maori tribe.

It's an out-and-back with views that are spectacularly different in each direction.

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.

Parking is available at either end of this trail, making an out and back easily doable (trail submitted only one way). No public transport.

1 km

1 minutes




Just near the beach house cafe (nice place to stop for a coffee before, during, or after the run) the trail darts off to the left as you come up a concrete ramp - can be easy to miss, other than that any missed ramp/steps soon join up with the road again so you can't get lost.

Generally good.

Short-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map

No drink fountains, but there are stores along the way if you get desperate.

Being coastal this can get wild at times, great fun to run then, just mind your step and be careful of beach sections during high tides.

Trail Legend


Natalie Dobson

has completed A Whale of a Trail twice in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Bitterly cold day which added an element of challenge to a pretty cruisy run... hail as well which was fun!

Mike Tennent

July 23, 2020

An all time favourite, with the ability to stop for coffee mid-run if you so desire. Great views, different every time I've run it depending on the weather.

Corey Woodward

January 26, 2020

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