Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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South Mavora Lake Trail

Te Anau, Southland

Submitted by Mike Tennent

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 12 ?

Gnarl Factor: 30 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, small hills only

Dog Friendly

Native bush



Open tussock/grasslands

Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +6.2%

Average Downhill Gradient: -6.2%


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Estimated Times to Run







There are 2 lakes... creatively named , I am guessing, by the same genius who named our country's islands... North Mavora Lake and South Mavora Lake.

I quickly established that there was a trail along the back of South Mavora Lake of about 5km and decided to give that a go. As stated in my directions, you can start at either end of the lake, cross either of the swingbridges and away you go. There is only one trail and it would be very very hard to get lost.

I ran from the northern swingbridge to the southern and then retraced my steps, you could also run it one way and loop back along the road which is all gravel and not unpleasant to make a nice loop... or get a left to one end and run it point to point.

Just the Lake - but it's a very nice lake! 30+ kms of gravel road driving means it It can be a bit of a chore getting here. But once arrived it is a lovely place, even on grey days.

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.

Not aware of any public transport to the Lakes.

Parking at the first swingbridge is limited, but unless it is the height of summer you should be ok. At the second swingbridge there is plenty of space.

71 km

74 minutes




Pretty straightforward, when on the grassland follow the small trail and the lake. At one stage you pop out on a section of lake beach...head along the lake back to the bush and you should see the orange triangle.


Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map

There is a lake... no livestock around so I would presume it is relatively safe. At the campground the have taps which are not necessarily safe.

I ran a few days after some heavy rain and a couple of patches of trail were a bit sticky. I would imagine those parts could be a bit muddy in winter.

When running through the grassland area be careful, at times you cannot see the trail and there are undulations and ruts, very easy to roll an ankle.

Alpine Centre Cafe & Bar
Corner Sandy Brown Rd & Milford Hwy, Te Anau 9600
I stopped here after my run and had a lovely lunch. Nice people and nice food.

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Trail Reviews

One of my favs! Try and get a run in on this one each time we come up, either out and back or loop with the road. Great fun with a woof along for company and a bit of pull up the hills 😉. Nice outing for Christmas Day 2021.

Helen Brunner

December 26, 2021

Interesting variety of terrain in a short distance. Beech forest and tussock while skirting a picturesque lake. Some easy fast flat sections but also some challenging tree rooted segments and still some mud even in Early March.

Bryan Stout

March 8, 2020

Great easy trail run. Track is formed but typical forest track with roots and ups/downs. Some fallen vegetation across it in sections and muddy bits which are easy to navigate. Made it into a 10.8 km loop starting at the South Lake camping area and running along the gravel road at the start and finish.

Jessica Campbell

December 18, 2018

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