Last Updated: 21st Mar 2024

Intermediate - Experienced

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Green Lake Loop

Green Lake

Green Lake Borland Biv

Tuatapere, Southland

Submitted by Daniel Parkinson

Last Updated: 21st Mar 2024

Intermediate - Experienced

Save Trail Save

I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 47 ?

Gnarl Factor: 75 ?







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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush


Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Gravel Road

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +12.5%

Average Downhill Gradient: -12.2%


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Estimated Times to Run

Not suitable






From the Borland Saddle Carpark, head up the Mt Burns route. There's a short marked section in the bush, and you'll soon come above the bushline, where fantastic views start to open up. Follow your nose through the tarns - there are no markers above the bushline and no trail until you get back to Green Lake.

Head on up a short climb, before an open basin appears. Aim for the low saddle between pt 1456 and pt 1476. A side trip to Mt Burns is worthwhile, but not included in this route. There are incredible views of Mt Burns and Green Lake from here.

Make your way down to the next basin, towards Green Lake. From here, there's a steepish drop down through tussock - you'll see a clear route down to the Green Lake shoreline. The tussock and scrub gets thicker the closer you get towards the lake. Poles are useful for scoping out the ground as there are some hidden waterways - so watch your ankles. Head towards the Eastern end of the tussock fan, which is where Green Lake Hut is.

At the hut, fill your water bottles, then head West on the marked trail along the lake. This is easy running. There is a small climb through the bush, before you arrive at the marked turnoff to Island Lake. Detour a short distance for a view of this. Back on the main trail, continue through alternating bush and tussock sections before arriving at Borland Biv.

From the Biv, there's around 2.5km of gravel road that zig-zags up the hill - it sounds boring but the scenery is still spectacular so it'll go quick!

Green Lake

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72 km

81 minutes




You'll need a clear day to easily navigate and enjoy the best views.


Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, Short-sleeved thermal top, 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, Survival bag, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Compass, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions), Gaiters

Plenty of tarns, a lake and a hut with a water tank (no water at Borland Biv).

The tops are likely to be covered in snow in winter and spring, with an associated avalanche risk.

Hidden watercourses under tussock, uneven terrain.

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