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Waiuta Ghost Town, West Coast

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Waiuta Ghost TownIntermediate

Submitted by Nicky Armstrong

Info Info
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Trail Information





West Coast


Back country - remote

Out and Back

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush
Open tussock/grasslands


4:30 (Slow)
3:00 (Moderate)
2:15 (Fast)



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This is a classic West Coast trail run. It starts and ends in the fascinating ghost town remains of Waiuta and the Big River mine site provides the turnaround point, complete with historic relics. There is the Big River DOC hut to check out for all those hut-baggers out there and there's even a patch of unexpected tussock tops with views of the mountains just before you drop down to the Big River Mine. The trail can be muddy in places after rain, but is generally maintained to a high standard.

With a bit of forward planning and a couple of vehicles this could be run all the way through from Waiuta out to the Lewis Pass Highway near Reefton. Check the Department of Conservation website for more details.

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Features of interest

Waiuta ghost town, Big River mine, Big River DOC hut.

Make Up of Run

Moderate Single Track: 95%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 5%

Route Data


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  • Access

    From State Highway 7 follow the signs to Waiuta along Waiuta Road. Once the historic town of Wiauta is reached follow the signposts to the Waiuta - Big River Track.

    Small gravel car park at the start of the track. Most likely reasonably safe due to it's remoteness.

    38 km

    40 minutes



  • Staying Safe



    Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

    DON'T DRINK THE WATER! Seriously, historic mining activities have left the waterways in the area heavily contaminated. Take your own which can be refilled from the water tank at Big River Hut (at the turn around point).

    The track is muddy in places at the best of times so be prepared.

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