Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done

Painkiller Devil's Tail loop

Reefton, West Coast

Submitted by Brent Oldham

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Intermediate - Experienced

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I've done it Done

Grunt Factor: 37

Gnarl Factor: 51








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, small hills only

Native bush

Run Makeup


Gravel Road

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +10.9%

Average Downhill Gradient: -10.9%


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Estimated Times to Run







This is a lumpy, muddy, wet and slippery challenge. Be prepared for washouts, wet feet and some minor navigation. Don't be tempted to run this clockwise and, if possible, take a friend or a PLB. Painkiller is best tackled uphill as potential for a major tumble going downhill is very real. 

Just before the Waitahu River bridge (travelling from Reefton) turn right. 200m on left is a wooden gate entry to a new road/track. Follow this for about 1km, then turn right up a steep rocky roadway, 300m on the left is a goldpan on a marker with "Painkiller Track" on it. The trail is quite clear to follow, except for the two washouts. For the first (a creek), drop down to the creek then head upstream maybe 10 metres, then climb up to find the track. The second is a small slip. Follow the pink tape downhill, across the slip, and then back up to the track.

Once through the Painkiller, you'll hit the Inglewood intersection (just above the clearing with an old steam boiler). Head straight/left NOT right here. There is another sign (about 2k from the intersection) labelled "Devils Tail" that points up hill. Ignore it and continue downhill. Cross the swingbridge, turn left and follow the logging road back to Gannons Creek Bridge and your start point.

These are two old gold mining access roads that lead to the Inglewood Junction (with alternative exits to Blacks Point via the Machine Track).

Plenty of spots to park.

8 km

9 minutes




Very patchy.

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

No real water points except near the start/finish - so carry enough for 3-4 hours

Possible snow falls in winter, but will be wet underfoot year round.

Manuka stumps for the first climb, moss and tree roots until you get to Inglewood

Broadway Tea Rooms
31 Broadway, Reefton
Local bakery with good food and coffee

Berlins Cafe
Lower Buller Gorge, 30k from Westport

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