Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Kaniere Water Race

Hokitika, West Coast

Submitted by Nicky Armstrong

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 12 ?

Gnarl Factor: 32 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Point to Point (one way)

Undulating, small hills only

Native bush



Run Makeup


Gravel Road

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +8.5%

Average Downhill Gradient: -7.7%


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Estimated Times to Run







This run follows the historic Kaniere Water Race, originally used for gold sluicing and now part of a small hydro-electric power plant. The first part of the run follows relatively well-maintained single track with a few wooden staircases and bridges to keep things interesting. The last third has been recently upgraded to a wide, gravel track as part of the West Coast Wilderness Cycle Way. This is also a nice out-and-back run, or can be linked up with the cycle way through Hurunui Jacks to make great loop.

Historic mining water race, still used for power generation. Nice views of Lake Kaniere at the end.

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There are gravel car parks at both the start and end of the track both of which are quite safe. No public transport, but the West Coast Wilderness Cycle Trail passes them both.

11 km

12 minutes





Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Survival blanket

The track follows the water race for almost it's entire length and the water quality is probably o.k., although I would prefer to take my own.

Probably a bit muddy after heavy rain, which does happen occasionally on the West Coast.

There can be a lot of cyclists, including families with small children, on the cycle trail, especially at weekends and school holidays.

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Trail Reviews

Perfect trail to run on a hot day (only the first bit on the 4WD service road is exposed) as most is under shade from beautiful West Coast bush. Looked like something out of LOTR mixed with mining history.

Tania Vincent

December 13, 2022

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