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Caples Track - The Divide Version, Southland

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Caples Track - The Divide VersionIntermediate

Submitted by Louise Player-Bishop

Info Info
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Trail Information






Te Anau

Front country - easily accessible

Point to Point (one way)

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops


6:30 (Slow)
5:00 (Moderate)
3:00 (Fast)



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Caples Track about 31km, and is post-to-point. We chose to run from the Divide to the Greenstone Road carpark.

This is a beautiful track and not as busy as some of the other tracks in the area. McKellar Saddle is 945m high, and as the Divide is 531m the climb is steep but not significant.

We started from the Divide but the track is runnable from ether direction. Our support people dropped us off at the Divide and met us at the Greenstone Carpark after a long drive around (Te Anau, Queenstown, Glenorchy, Kinlock, Greenstone carpark). Ingrid from Glenorchy Journeys also offers a shuttle service to/from the Greenstone car park, reaonably priced and is flexible with pick-up times.

From the Divide, it was a short run to Howden Hut, the first hut on the Routeburn, and at this junction we peeled off to the Caples/Greenstone tracks. Shortly after this we left the Greenstone Track and turned left onto the Caples Track and the climb to the McKellar Saddle. We were fortunate with the weather and had magnificent views from the Saddle boardwalk. From the saddle, the track meanders through beech forest and along the valley floor to Mid Caples Hut. We stopped and had a leisruely break at Mid Caples Hut (with flushable toilets) and where we filled our water bottles. There is a fast flowing and accessible river prior to the farmed areas which we found ok for drinking water. After the Mid Caples Hut, you cross a gorge and the track meanders adjacent to and just above the farmed valley to the carpark.

This track was very runnable, is well maintained with a combination of rock, boardwalk, grassy flats and beech forest and took just over 6 hours at a lei.surely pace

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Features of interest

McKellar Saddle gives some lovely views of the surrounding mountains

Make Up of Run

Moderate Single Track: 30%

Easy Single Track: 70%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    The Divide, between Te Anau and Milford (start of the Routeburn Track)

    Plenty of parking at The Divide

    75 km

    57 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    The track is well graded and well marked, with alternative options clearly defined


    Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

    Mid Caples Hut and from the river prior to the farmed areas

    Summer run only

    Alpine environment

  • Post run indulgence

    Kinloch Lodge
    Great hot chips, perfect at the end of a run!

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