Mt Richardson track
Image: Ruth McKie | Creative Commons
Richardson and Blowhard tracks climb up to Mt Richardson from different road ends. The tracks can be combined with the Bypass Track to make a circuit.
Time: 3 hr one way
Starting at the Glentui picnic area, this moderate to steep track climbs first through tawhai forest and then through tussock grasslands and Dracophyllum scrub on the upper slopes of Mt Richardson.
From here it is possible to continue on Bypass Track to form a loop back to the Glentui picnic area, or down Blowhard Track to come out on Maori Reserve Road.
A good track for people with moderate fitness.
Getting there: Start this track at the end of Glentui Bush Road.
Time: 4 hr one way
The lower portion of this track climbs a wind-swept ridge through tall open forest and emerges through stunted tawhai onto open grasslands. Skeleton tree trunks along the top ridge are a legacy of wildfire which swept up the Lees Valley in 1980.
Getting there: The track starts at the end of Maori Reserve Road.
Time: 3 hr uphill
It's a challenging ascent once you enter the forest. The track is steep and rough in places and bikes may need to be carried at times. It then flattens out as you follow the ridgeline to the trig at the summit of Mt Richardson. Return the same way – mountain biking is not permitted on Richardson or Bypass Tracks.
This is a shared-use track. Follow the mountain bikers code: respect others, respect the rules, respect the track.
Time: 1–2 hr one way
This track links Richardson and Blowhard tracks. It follows a ridge down the eastern side of the Glentui River catchment, to emerge on the Glentui Nature Trail.
The round trip from the Glentui picnic area via the Richardson, Blowhard, and Bypass tracks is a 4–6 hour walk.
Getting there: This track can be accessed from the end of Glentui Bush Road.
Mountain biking is only permitted on the Blowhard Track.
Richardson and Bypass Tracks are accessed from Glentui Bush Road:
From Oxford, follow Ashley Gorge Road for 13 km to Glentui. Turn into Glentui Bush Road and follow this for 6 km to the end.
Blowhard Track is accessed from Maori Reserve Road:
From Oxford, follow Ashley Gorge Road for 16 km, then turn into Maori Reserve Road and follow this for 4 km to the end.
NZTopo50 map sheets: BW22 (Oxford), BW23 (Cust)
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.