Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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Boyd Creek Tops & Nature Walk

Te Anau, Southland

Submitted by Sierra Alef-Defoe

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 38 ?

Gnarl Factor: 45 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, some big hills

Dog Friendly

Native bush


Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +13.7%

Average Downhill Gradient: -13.7%


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Estimated Times to Run







This track is about 44km from Te Anau, the Boyd Creek track is one of the first trailheads along the Milford Road. 

The Boyd Creek track takes you through enchanted forest, through a large clearing 2/3 of the way up, and then to an expansive hanging valley at the top. The DOC track ends once you reach this hanging valley, but it's possible if you come prepared to adventure further, for example going up and over to Forks Hut and the Mavora Lakes. 

The Boyd Creek Tops Track on its own is about 15 km out and back, the nature walk loop near the trailhead adds about 3 km. The nature loop track takes you past the old Southland Boys school lodge, as well as a turn-off to a track that meets the Upukerora river. The nature loop track is much flatter than the Tops Track, although elevation gain on the tops track is mostly gradual. The track is mostly a narrow tramping track with plenty of tree roots, and some treefall throughout the track is to be expected. Can be muddy after wet weather.

Although the trail is called Boyd Creek, there are almost no water sources along the way (the trail is a fair way from the actual creek) so bring enough water for the trip. 

As this track is just outside the Fiordland National Park boundary in Te Anau Downs, it is possible to bring a dog. Dogs are allowed on-leash, with a permit from DOC Fiordland for the Snowdon Forest area.

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 the trailhead, it's a small parking area but usually not a busy track.

0 km

0 minutes





Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map

Do not be fooled by the title "Boyd Creek" -- there is virtually no water available on this track, especially the higher you get!

This track can be done all year in fine weather, wouldn't recommend in or after serious rain.

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Trail Reviews

I loved this track! Beautiful soft and bouncy trail winding through lush forest. I was joined by a trio of fantails for most of my run. There is a boggy clearing about 2/3 of the way up. It felt like I was following the yellow brick road through this clearing. After that it is a mix of runnable trail and classic mud pits. I just moved to Te Anau and I am quickly learning to expect a knee deep possibility when stepping in the mud. At the top of the track there is an expansive bowl of wetlands and tussicks surrounded by higher mountain ranges. I don't wear a watch so I can't comment on the distance or elevation, but I did note that it took me 2 hours on the nose to reach the top (this includes a few photos stops).

Angie Campbell

April 24

Cool track - pretty technical and rooty! Not much runnable on the up - lots of treefall the last 2kms to top - but great fun on the down. Stopped for half an hour up top, ran some short sections and all of the last few kms and it still took 5hrs 15 moving time. Elevation gain was 945m and loss was 912m. Completed the loop and top track - distance was 17.6kms. Route elevation and distance may need correcting!

Vikki Baker

February 13, 2023

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