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Mt Watson Croesus Loop, West Coast

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Mt Watson Croesus LoopIntermediate

Submitted by Katie Smith

Info Info
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Trail Information





West Coast


Back country - remote


Very hilly

Native bush
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops


6:00 (Slow)
4:30 (Moderate)
3:00 (Fast)



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Start from the Croesus track end. Within the first 50m of the track there is a signed turn-off on the left to the Mt Watson route - follow this. The first 3-4km climbs steeply through native bush before breaking out into tussock just before the Mt Watson trig and summit. From here on a clear day the views start to unfold.

Follow the route along an undulating ridgeline for the next 6km - it is poled, occasionally overgrown but in good visibility very easy to follow. Eventually you reach a better benched track cut into the slope. From here the track does a tight dogleg back to the left, with the main Croesus track visible below you. You can either cut steeply down offtrack to it, or follow the dogleg back left then right to join it.

From here the track is much wider and well-benched, with old mining stone culverts. Ces Clarke huts (historic and newer) provide a good rest and water stop at around the 12km mark, then the track continues on a steady gradient downwards back into native bush. There are a couple of short detours to mining relics which are worth looking at, then a few bridged river crossings before a final short climb back to the carpark.

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Features of interest

Old and current mine workings visible, blue duck sometimes seen

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 48%

Technical Single Track: 12%

Easy Single Track: 40%

Route Data


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Overlapping Runs

The following trails overlap with this run to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate Strava activity for each

Croesus Crossing

Croesus Crossing

Length: 28.00km


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Start from the Croesus Track car park - head through Blackball, as you leave there's a signposted turn-off. Follow the gravel road for 10 mins or so to the end.

    No public transport. Lots of parking

    6 km

    10 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Good visibility needed for the tops travel - poles are quite spaced out and the track overgrown in some places


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

    Available at Ces Clarke hut and from creeks after this - water scarce for first 12km

    Exposed to West Coast weather at any time of year, snow on tops during the winter.

  • Post run indulgence

    Formerly the Blackball Hilton
    Interesting old pub with good food

    Blackball Salami Company
    Worth a stop to stock up on delicious salami, black pudding, bacon, sausages or any other butcher's goods!

  • Sponsor this trail

    If you are interested in learning about sponsorship opportunities, please get in touch below:


See other runs nearby:

Croesus Crossing

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