Last Updated: 15th Jan 2024

Very Experienced

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I've done it Done

Lewis Tops

Greymouth, West Coast

Submitted by Nelson Pearson

Last Updated: 15th Jan 2024

Very Experienced

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 78 ?

Gnarl Factor: 105 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Point to Point (one way)


Native bush

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +23.2%

Average Downhill Gradient: -20.2%


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Estimated Times to Run

Not suitable






Start by taking the Rough Creek Track up to the saddle. It is well marked, although rough in places to the bush line, then a poled route beyond. Once on the saddle, divert from the marked route to continue NE along the ridge top to pt 1482, then SE along the ridge to pt 1390. The spur from pt 1390 to pt 1674 has some bluffs on the N aspect that can be avoided by traversing S at 1560m before regaining the ridgeline via a scree gully.

Continue E along the ridgeline until it starts dropping steeply to Brass Monkey Biv. Take the NE scree slope off the ridge to avoid the bluffs. After Brass Monkey Biv, the ridgeline generally opens up, making route finding a travel more straightforward.

Continue along the ridgeline via pt 1602, pt 1605, Lucretia & The Apprentice. There appears to be a Goat Track on the S aspect of Lucretia that bypasses the rockier sections. The route continues from the Apprentice into a wide basin then back onto an open ridgeline towards the Lewis Tops Track which takes you down to the finish at Lewis Pass.

This trail includes the peaks The Apprentice and Lucretia.

Brass Monkey Biv is a stunning setting. The open ridgelines & tarns are best enjoyed on a clear day.

If you know of any public toilets near the trail start or on the route, please login and then let us know so we can update this section.

Start - There is a parking area on the North side of SH7, across the Rough Creek road bridge from the trail start.

Finish - There is a parking lot across the road from the trail finish for the St James Walkway. Recommend leaving a bike here for a downhill car shuttle.

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Watch out for the diverging spurs & ridgelines that could take you off the route. Although there are sections of this route near bluffs, it never requires ascending or descending one. If you find yourself starting to climb, you've likely taken a wrong turn.


Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Compass, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries, Crampons / microspikes (for winter conditions)

Many tarns throughout. In addition, snow patches can be found through mid-summer.

In winter, the ridgeline will be snow covered.

Weather - this route is best done in clear conditions. In addition, it is very exposed to a Nor'wester.

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Trail Reviews

Fastpacked over 2 days cos I've always wanted to enjoy the night sky from Brass Monkey Biv!
Did it in reverse.
Total moving time 7hrs, my times are usually closer to 'slow' suggested times on Wild Things especially over rough terrain.
Stunning travel along the tops. Easy route finding on a clear day.
Easily hitched back to where I'd left the car at St James Walkway carpark.
Great route, thanks Nelson.

Alex Frankpitt

May 18, 2023

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