Foothills – Mt Thomas

Mt Thomas Forest Conservation Area is an excellent area for day trips, with a picturesque picnic area and several walking tracks around Mt Thomas (1023m). Mt Thomas Forest Conservation Area covers 10,800 hectares, between the Ashley and Okuku Rivers, and contains extensive exotic plantations, which in the case of Mt Thomas itself extend right to the summit. From the summit there are views over the Canterbury Plains to Pegasus Bay, into the Lees Valley and the upper Okuku River.

Please note these tracks are managed by Department of Conservation and it is advised to always check their website for any closures prior to embarking on your journey.

Kererū Loop Track
Time/Distance: 1hr return 2.2km
Grade: Short Walk

Access:

Wooded Gully Camping and Picnic area

Wooded Gully and Red Pine tracks start off this loop track.

Description:

This is a Toyota Kiwi Guardian adventure site.

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Forest loop (Via Kererū, Wooded Gully and Summit Tracks)
Time/Distance: 2hrs return 2.8km
Grade: Half Day

Access:

Wooded Gully Camping and Picnic area

From Wooded Gully picnic area walk up the Kererū Loop Track to the junction with Wooded Gully Track. Follow Wooded Gully Track to the junction with Forest Track (approx 45 minutes from the car park). Track turn off. Turn right onto Forest Track and follow this to join up with the Summit Track, and back down to the picnic area.

 

Description:

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Wooded Gully Track
Time/Distance: 3 hours return, 5.3km.
Grade: Half Day

Description:

 

Adjoining Tracks:
From the Saddle, climb to summit of Mt Thomas and return via Summit Track, or follow the Ridge Track back to Wooded Gully picnic area.

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Red Pine Track (Via Kererū Loop Track)
Time/Distance: 3 hours return 5km.
Grade: Half Day

Access:

Wooded Gully Camping and Picnic area

Track starts off the west side of the Kererū Loop Track approx 25 minutes from the car park. Follow the Wooded Gully Track back down to the car park.

Description:

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Summit Track
Time/Distance: 3 hours one way to summit.
Grade: Half Day

Description:

Panoramic views of the Canterbury Plains, Banks Peninsula and the Southern Alps.

Adjoining Tracks:
Come back the same way or return via Wooded Gully or Ridge Tracks.

Note:
This track is quite steep and slippery in places.

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Ridge Track
Time/Distance: 3.5 hours one way, 5km to the ridge, a further 2 hours following the ridge to the Mt Thomas Summit.
Grade: Half Day

Access:

Wooded Gully Camping and Picnic area

West end of the camping area, follow markings on the forestry road uphill for 1.8km until you enter beech forest. Follow the ridge up to Bobs Camp Biv Track junction. This is the highest point of the ridge before it heads in an easterly direction to Mt Thomas Summit.

 

Description:

 

Adjoining Tracks:
Alternate routes back via Wooded Gully and Summit tracks.

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Pinchgut Track
Time/Distance: 3.5 hrs one way
Grade: Multi Day

Access:

From Loburn – Whiterock Road. Near Whiterock turn onto Taaffes Glen Road, follow until you reach Round Hill Stream and park your vehicle. Leave all gates as you find them.
Walk 300 m along gravel road then take the track that drops into Okuku River. Cross and follow the marked track to Pinchgut Hut.

Description:

Accommodation: (Standard 7-bunk hut, purchase hut tickets beforehand from the Kaiapoi i-SITE or any DOC office).

Note: Weather dependant track as river crossing required (approx.600 mm deep).

Not on map.