Last Updated: 16th Feb 2024

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done

Kaituna Track Wilderness Experience

Collingwood, Tasman

Submitted by Cheryl Steel

Last Updated: 16th Feb 2024

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done

Grunt Factor: 36 ?

Gnarl Factor: 61 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Point to Point (one way)

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush


Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +14.6%

Average Downhill Gradient: -13.2%


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Estimated Times to Run







NOTE: The track was badly damaged by Cyclone Gita, and almost completely rebuilt. The track is poorly marked, often not very visible, there are felled trees in many places, and it's slow going. Golden Bay SAR report that there are relatively frequently incidents.

The historic Kaituna track provides an interesting crossing from the northern west coast to the Aorere Valley near Collingwood. It passes through some pretty wild and remote country in between (don't be surprised if you think you're being chased by wild pigs!). There is no hut en route.

Head up the 4WD trail towards Knuckle Hill. It is worth taking the side trail up to the summit and back for the views over the unique Whanganui Inlet region. Continue on the Kaituna track which heads through dense native bush and up and along a two undulating bush-clad ridges (crossing a couple of streams along the way) before making a steep sustained descent into the Kaituna River where it forks. From here continue on a fast trail on the true left of this river out to the trail end on Carter Road, which is around 15k from Collingwood.

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32 km

41 minutes




Take a map and compass and keep a keen eye on the trail and markers. The trail is surprisingly remote, and not a good place to get lost.


Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Compass, Map

A few streams along the way.

It's important not to do this trip in/after heavy rain as you need to cross the Kaituna River forks near the end.

Take care with navigation and following the trail; also avoid if the Kaituna River is likely to be high.

Mussel Inn
Between Collingwood and Takaka
Good food and great atmosphere.

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Trail Reviews

So happy to have this in the trail directory! Kaituna lived up to its reputation - more adventure trodding than cruise running, be prepared for windfall which DOC doesn't clear. If you do it from the Aorere towards the west coast of Golden Bay, you will be rewarded with lovely views over Whanganui Inlet.

Britta Steude

August 8, 2021

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