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The Trip to Galway Bay, West Coast

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The Trip to Galway BayBeginner

Submitted by Mike Tennent

Info Info
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Trail Information





West Coast

Fox Glacier

Back country - remote

Out and Back

Undulating, small hills only

Native bush
Open tussock/grasslands


2:30 (Slow)
1:45 (Moderate)
1:15 (Fast)



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From the carpark, take the trail to the left of the toilet block signed to the Dredge. Follow the grass track and you will soon come to the dredge. Take the time to explore a bit here, then carry on the main trail and you will very quickly come out onto the beach.

Head right along the beach until you reach a river and follow the beach around the corner where you will see a sign to your right for the trail to the bridge. This is a great spot for pics with the bridge and the Alps in the background. If you get a very calm day you can get a magic reflection. From there it is plain fun running trail. There is a short excursion to the left to check the Miners Tunnel... make sure you do this as it's part of the course. Eventually after some undulating coastal running and a few swampy boggy bits you will come to the downhill into Galway Bay. At the very end is a cool ladder down to beach level. Explore a bit, although be careful if the seals are around.

To return re-trace your steps.

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Features of interest

Great views of Mount Cook and the Alps on a clear day, cool old gold dredge, a miners tunnel (torch not needed) and a seal colony in winter at Galway Bay.

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 13%

Technical Single Track: 5%

Moderate Single Track: 25%

Easy Single Track: 57%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 0%

Gravel Road: 0%

Sealed Road: 0%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    From downtown Fox Glacier, take the clearly indicated road to Gillespies Beach .... drive past the turnoff to Lake Matheson and follow the road to the very end. This invloves 12km of winding gravel road that will feel like 30km.

    Excellent carpark with toilets at the end

    20 km

    34 minutes



  • Staying Safe



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

    Take your own

    The last few kms before Galway Bay had some short (5 to 15m) swampy bits... these could get larger in winter.

    Nothing major, care required at a small stream crossing and the beach is very stony.

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