Wild Things - New Zealand's trail running community
New Zealand's trail running community


don't have an account?

Mataketake Tops Loop, West Coast

Trail Directory proudly supported by Further Faster

Update Your Header Picture

Mataketake Tops LoopExperienced

Submitted by Eva Dethlefsen

Info Info
Map Loading

Trail Information





West Coast


Back country - remote



Native bush
Open ridges/tops


9 (Slow)
6.5 (Moderate)
4.5 (Fast)



Download PDF Guide

Fastest Known Times (FKTs)

Please set your gender to see your position on the FKT leaderboards.


There are currently no male FKTs for Mataketake Tops Loop.


There are currently no female FKTs for Mataketake Tops Loop.

Filter FKTs

The more , the harder the FKT will be to beat. Learn about Fastest Known Times.

Missing your time?

Register or login as a VIP and get yourself on the FKT leaderboard!

Register Now


The loop is well marked and signposted.

The trail starts from the carpark by the DOC sign. The run starts with a gradual climb of the old Cattle Track which was originally bulldozed along the river and is therefore well benched and very enjoyable to run.

A small two-minute detour is worthwhile to have a look at the signposted Blowfly Hut.

After about 9km turn off the Cattle Track and head up the signposted Mica Mine Tops Route towards the Mataketake Hut. The climb is well benched and zigzags up 23 corners towards the open tops.

Once through the bushline the track becomes rougher along the poled route through tussock and rocks past small tarns. The newly build Mataketake Hut is a great lunch spot.

Past the hut, the track drops steeply on rooty and slippery terrain before regaining the Cattle Tack just before the Maori Saddle Hut.

From here it is a very enjoyable gradual 13km descent back to the carpark.

Trail Community

Find people who are interested in this run.

You must register or login to view this content.

Features of interest

This loop was only recently made possibly in 2021 with the construction of the Mataketake Hut and track markings over the tops creating one of the most accessible backcountry loops in Westland. Run on parts of the Historic Paringa to Haast Cattle Track and re-opened Mica Mine Track (built during the Second World War). At lower altitudes, the track passes through mature beech, rimu and hardwood forests before climbing to the undulating tussock tops that feature tarns and stunning views northwards along the Southern Alps to Aoraki/Mt Cook.

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 0%

Technical Single Track: 25%

Moderate Single Track: 50%

Easy Single Track: 25%

Route Data


You must register or login to view this content.


You must register or login to view this content.

Your Trail Wishlist

All the runs that are on your To Do list (no limit).

Add to wishlist view wishlist

Your Trail Dreamlist

The runs you most want to do (limited to 10).

Add to dreamlist view dreamlist

Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Access to the track is signposted approximately 40 km northeast of Haast on SH6 at the Windbag Saddle.

    There is a small parking area on the side of the road (the sign is labelled Haast - Paringa Cattle Track).

    273 km

    203 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    This route is a no go in bad weather as one could easily lose sight of the poles along the Mataketake tops even though the track is easy to follow on a clear day. The route is well marked with DOC signs and times to the next hut throughout the track.


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

    Several creek crossings along the way provides water. There is also an untreated water source at each of the huts.

    The tops section can be very exposed to that West Coast weather and can change quickly with rain and high winds. The small unbridged creek crossings along the way could easily rise in heavy rain. You want the glorious views from the tops so pick a fine day.

    Be backcountry smart and remember to be self-sufficient and prepared in case of an emergency.

  • Sponsor this trail

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


Got a favourite trail? Tell us about it.

Share the love and add your favourite trail(s) to our growing trail directory.

Submit A Trail

Become a member today

Start enjoying the many benefits to becoming a member of our thriving community.

Become a member

Great brands at great prices with our VIP member's discount

Stay up to date

Sign up to our newsletter for latest offers and trail guides

Share this trail with a friend:

VIP Membership

Please register as a VIP or login to your VIP account to view this content.

Cancel Login Register

Membership Required

You can see up to three trail guides without being logged in but after that we require you to be logged in to your Free or VIP account. If you don’t yet have an account you can register here.

Login Register