The track is popular with mountain bikers given the distance involved and the fact there are no huts along the route. It's also good for long distance runners. Trampers could do the track but would require a pick up at the exit point along SH8 south of Lindis Pass.
From the Avon Burn valley it is a climb to the highest point of the track on Mt Melina (1,500 m) and then a steady descent on the other side to Smiths Creek.
Melina Ridge Track on the south side of Mt Melina, Hawea Conservation Park
Track category: Tramping track
Distance: 9 km one way
Mountain biking: Grade 4
This track branches off the Melina Ridge Track and climbs to the top of Mt Prospect (1,770 m above sea level) before descending into the Timaru River valley. Bikers must return the same way. Trampers can carry on along the Timaru River Track.
It is generally better to start this mountain bike track from the Avon Burn car park along Birchwood Road and exit on SH8 south of Lindis Pass. This provides an easier gradient for cycling up Mt Melina and then a steep zig zag descent into Lindis River valley.
This is a shared-use track. Follow the mountain bikers code: respect others, respect the rules, respect the track.
Turn off SH8 onto Birchwood Road, 17 km south of Omarama. The turnoff is signposted for Ahuriri Conservation Park. It is 11 km down Birchwood Road to the start of the track at Avon Burn carpark.
Map: NZTopo50 CA14 Lindis Pass
Private property: This track crosses private land. Respect the landowner's livestock and property: stay on the marked track until you reach the conservation land, leave gates as you find them and use stiles where provided. Livestock can be unpredictable – keep your distance at all times/go around if necessary.
No camping until the conservation area boundary.