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Blue Pools Plus, West Coast

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Blue Pools PlusBeginner

Submitted by Mike Tennent

Info Info
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Trail Information





West Coast


Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, small hills only

Native bush
Open farmlands


2:30 (Slow)
1:40 (Moderate)
1:10 (Fast)



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Follow the manicured tourist footpath from the carpark to the two famous swingbridges at the Blue Pools. Once you have taken in the splendour, carry on after the second swingbridge along the trail towards the Young River Valley - there is some magic undulating trail that is wonderful to run or walk on. The odd little semi-technical bit. You will come to some grassland which is where the formed trail stops for about 1 km, there are poles to guide you and a reasonably well worn small track through the long grass.

After the grass it is back into the bush and the wonderful trail is back again, over a couple of swingbridges and then another grass section, this time a more obvious track. Then it's into the forest again and you will come to the sign for Gillespie Pass Circuit Track. This is where this trail guide finishes, other than to tell you to re-trace your steps to the start. However, you will see on the sign it says "Young River Mouth 500m" and you may wish to do this... this section is very technical, climbing along the side of a hill on narrow tree roots, rocks and very slow going, plus a climb up a steep rock section using chains. This is not recommended unless you are experienced and not alone.

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Features of interest

Blue Pools are world famous for their crystal clear water... and you get to see them twice!

Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 25%

Moderate Single Track: 25%

Easy Single Track: 50%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 0%

Gravel Road: 0%

Sealed Road: 0%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    On the Haast Pass - Makarora Road, the Blue Pools are very clearly signposted from 5km out.

    Massive carpark (because tourists love it) with toilet.

    71 km

    50 minutes



  • Staying Safe



    Short-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map.

    A few streamlets, plus at the Blue Pools you can get right down to river.

    Can get a bit muddy in winter but still do-able

    Just a couple of small technical bits with rocks and windfall.

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