Twizel area tracks: Walking and tramping in Ruataniwha Conservation Park

Introduction

There is a diverse range of tracks within a short distance of Twizel.

Track overview

Various: 1 - 23 km

Walking and tramping

Various: 15 min - 8 hr Easy: Walking track
Advanced: Tramping track

Mountain biking

Easy: Grade 2

Other activities

  • Horse riding

About this track

Description

Dusky Trail

Track category: Walking Track
Time: 7 - 8 hr
Distance: 23 km

Look out for a small interpretation sign on the side of Glen Lyon Road. There is a shingle area here for car parking.

The track climbs gradually as it follows Fraser Stream. It then traverses along the valley floor beneath the Ben Ohau Range. Descend from Gladstone Valley and cross Twizel River. Follow the well worn 4WD track out to Aoraki/Mount Cook Road (SH 80).

You'll get your feet crossing both Fraser Stream and Twizel River so this walk is not recommended after heavy rainfall.

Mountain biking

Track category: Intermediate/Grade 2
Time: 3 - 4 hr
Distance: 23 km

Cycle this track in a clockwise direction starting at Fraser Stream. The crossing through Twizel River may contain didymo so it is best to cycle this section last. Remember to check, clean and dry after your ride to prevent the spread of didymo between waterways.

Ben Ohau Wetland Track

Track category: Walking Track
Time: 15 min
Distance: 1 km

Look for the large car park area alongside Glen Lyon Road, 400 m further on from the start of the Dusky Trail. Walk for 1 km on the well formed farm track to the DOC signpost for Ben Ohau Wetland. This carex wetland area is visited by ducks and black-fronted terns.

Darts Bush Stream Track

Track category: Tramping Track
Time: 4 hr
Distance: 16 km

Start from the large car park area alongside Glen Lyon Road, 400 m further on from the start of the Dusky Trail. Follow the marker poles to Pyramid Saddle where there are good views on a fine day. Descend from the saddle to the valley floor and head downstream following Darts Bush Stream. You'll need to cross the stream. Return to the car park via Fraser Stream on the Dusky Trail.

Mountain biking

Track category: Intermediate/Grade 2
Distance: 21 km

This ride is a combination of different tracks. It doesn't really matter which entry point you choose. Riders may prefer to start at Fraser Stream and gradually climb up Darts Bush Stream Track for a short technical descent from Pyramid Saddle.

Track to Pyramid Saddle.
Track to Pyramid Saddle follows fenceline

Flanagan Pass Trail

Track category: Tramping Track
Time: 8 hr
Distance: 20 km

Start on the Darts Bush Stream Track. Branch off this this track at the signpost and start the long climb up Flanagan Pass (1225 m).

The trip over Flanagan Pass (formerly known as Glen Lyon Saddle) was regularly used in late 1800s as a direct route to Glen Lyon Station. Remaining telegraph poles from the 1940s can be seen beside the track in places. They once provided communication for the station.

Descend from Flanagan Pass via Dorcy Track or the grassy diagonal track to Greta Stream car park on Lake Ohau.

Horse riding

Flanagan Pass Trail is suitable for horse riding.

Mountain biking

Track category: Intermediate/Grade 2
Time: 4 hr
Distance: 20 km

Look out for this ride as it branches off Darts Bush Stream Track. The track up to Flanagan Pass has suffered from water run-off over the years so some bike pushing may be required. The diagonal grassy descent down to Greta Track car park on Lake Ohau side is a good riding option.

Flanagan Pass Trail.
Flanagan Pass Trail with descent track from Pyramid Saddle in background

Getting there

From Twizel head west down Glen Lyon Road. Cross the Pukaki Canal bridge and travel less than 1 km to the slightly different starts to these tracks.  

Know before you go

Map: NZTopo50 BZ15, Twizel

Contacts

Te Manahuna / Twizel Office
Phone:   +64 3 435 0802
Email:   twizel@doc.govt.nz
Address:   15 Wairepo Road
Twizel 7901
Full office details
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