View Hill car park to Wharfedale Hut (Wharfedale Track)
Time: 5 hr one way
Distance: 15 km one way
The track sidles and gently climbs through beech forest to the saddle. It is then mostly downhill to Wharfedale Hut, close to Dobson Stream.
This track was formed originally as a stock route with the intention of eventually becoming a road linking the plains with Lees Valley. Work began in 1879 but after seven years it was abandoned as a possible road.
Time: 3 hr one way
4 km south of Oxford, turn off SH72 (Inland Scenic Route) onto Woodstock Road. Follow this for 10 km then turn into Ingrams Road, then into Limeworks Road, which becomes Perhams Road. An AA sign here indicates the turn-off to the start of the Wharfedale Track where the View Hill car park is located.
In times of heavy rain two fords on Perhams Road may become impassable.
Wharfedale Hut to Lees Valley (Townshend Track)
Time: 2 hr 30 min one way
Distance: 8.5 km one way
About half an hour after leaving Wharfedale Hut, the track opens out and follows a 4WD track over grazed flats coming out at Lees Valley Road.
This track crosses the Townshend River twice and may be impassable if river levels are high. There is a flood route between Shifton and Storm Streams that may be used in emergencies – it is not well marked but avoids the need to cross the Townshend River. It is not suitable for mountain bikes.
From Oxford, follow Ashely Gorge Road for 6 km. Turn into Lees Valley Road and follow this for 20 km to the DOC sign.
Facilities: 8 bunk beds, heating, mattresses
Bookings not required - first come, first served
These tracks connect with tracks to Birch Hill Hut.
These tracks are accessed from Oxford.
Know before you go
NZTopo50 map sheet: BW22
Wasp populations reach high numbers from January to March – wear light-coloured clothing and carry antihistamine cream/tablets as a precaution.
Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.