This is the only bush walk in Central Otago administered by DOC and its entire 10 km are clearly marked. The track starts 200 m from the entry to the historic reserve and parking is recommended some 200 m up the road at the Logantown site. The track’s first 100 m or so is shared with the shorter Matilda Battery Track and then branches off to the right at the crest of Spec Gully.
After traversing some open country and a stile the track winds (clockwise) through the Kānuka Scenic Reserve in the Chinamans Creek catchment. The track climbs into a typical Lower Dunstan Mountains landscape to pass through re-generated Kānuka forest and impressive rocky crags with magnificent views over Lake Dunstan and the Upper Clutha Valley.
It then runs around the back of Chinamans Creek’s gully before traversing a ridge and following the front ridge line that faces the Upper Clutha Valley. Deep in Chinamans Creek, where the track crosses back, there’s a biv for shelter near stone hut ruins, along with several relics of earlier years.
There’s also a shorter loop walk that takes between one and one-and-a-half hours. Follow the Kānuka Track, as above, but instead of crossing Burma Road – the only one you'll come to – follow it down to the gate and turn right to come back along the marked fence line and back to the stile.
The main entrance to Bendigo is off SH8 at Crippletown, just north of Lake Dunstan and the Rocky Point picnic and boat ramp area.
Here, Loop Road goes up the hill and passes through the old Bendigo Township, past the schoolhouse ruins at Schoolhouse Flat to the main historic sites of Logantown, Welshtown and the mining remnants scattered throughout.
The track starts 200 m from the entry to the historic reserve and parking is recommended some 200 m up the road at the Logantown site.
Know before you go
Caution. There are old and very deep mining shafts throughout this area. Extreme care must be taken; children must be closely supervised.
This walk should not be attempted without being prepared for all conditions, including suitable clothing and food and water.
Due to the harsh nature of the country and possibly changing conditions, care should be taken in the Bendigo reserves and conservation areas. The climate can swing to either extreme in the course of a day. In winter the ranges are blanketed in snow, a complete contrast to the low humidity and very hot conditions of summer. Prepare for these extremes with suitable clothing and equipment: sun hat, sun screen, water, warm and water- and wind-proof clothing and suitable footwear.
When walking ensure that you have a map and compass. The relevant NZTopo50 series map for this area is CB13 Tarras; available from the DOC office in Alexandra.