Last Updated: 22nd Nov 2023


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Milltown to Lower Arahura Hut

Hokitika, West Coast

Submitted by Kirstine Collins

Last Updated: 22nd Nov 2023


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 36 ?

Gnarl Factor: 37 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Out and Back

Undulating, small hills only

Native bush


Open farmlands

Open tussock/grasslands

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +6.5%

Average Downhill Gradient: -6.5%


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Estimated Times to Run







From the information boards follow the gravel road east along the West Coast Wilderness Trail (WCWT). After 1 km is a junction where the WCWT turns left. Continue straight ahead.

Follow the 4WD track which alternates between open farmland and bush. After a km the track drops steeply and you cross a big stream. Follow the faint vehicle tracks up the valley a few hundred meters and look for the big orange triangle at the base of a steep vehicle track to the left. From there continue following the 4WD tracks through a swampy area.

After another 1 km you leave the 4WD track turning left onto single track. A few hundred metres later you cross the Cesspool Swingbridge. The next 6.6 km is a constant change between technical singletrack, rock hopping beside the river, flat flood plains and wide grassy ex roads.

When you reach the hut turn around and head back to the carpark enjoying the stunning views from a different direction. There are no sustained climbs, just a few short steep climbs.

The track follows the route of the former road between Hokatika to Christchurch used to resupply the gold and Ponamu rush on the 1850s to 1860s. The route was classed when the Arthurs Pass road opened in 1866.

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.

Gravel carpark with room for 15 cars

29 km

61 minutes




Care is needed to follow the markers which are far apart, especially on the river flats.


Short-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries

Water is plentiful with numerous small streams and the main river.

Do not do this trail immediately after or during heavy rain as there are two side streams that will be inpassable.
There is a lot of areas where the trail is in the water but not many muddy patches.

There is one main stream crossing that care is needed after rain.

The trail is washed away in several places and care is needed on the steep gravelly alternate temporary tracks.

Trail Legend


Nelson Pearson

has completed Milltown to Lower Arahura Hut once in the last year.

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