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South Mavora Lake Trail, Southland

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South Mavora Lake TrailBeginner

Submitted by Mike Tennent

Info Info
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Trail Information






Te Anau

Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, small hills only

Native bush
Open tussock/grasslands


1:50 (Slow)
1:10 (Moderate)
0:50 (Fast)



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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.

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Features of interest

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.

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 0%

Technical Single Track: 10%

Moderate Single Track: 30%

Easy Single Track: 60%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 0%

Gravel Road: 0%

Sealed Road: 0%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    On the road between Mossburn and Te Anau you will see a large very clear sign pointing to Mavora Lakes (and to the Round the Mountains Cycle Trail). Turn there and head about 38km down the road - BE AWARE, ABOUT 34KM OF THIS ROAD IS GRAVEL.

    Once you reach the Lakes Reserve area you have 2 choices... you will come across the first swingbridge and a camp fee payment area as well as a large info board pretty early on the road. If you are not camping and are just here for the trail then park here. If you are camping then carry on down the road for about 5km until you see a sign pointing left to swingbridge - access to trails. Turn left here and drive around to where you can see a DOC toilet.

    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



  • Staying Safe


    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.

  • Post run indulgence

    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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