IntroductionSee across Silverpeaks and Taieri Plains. Cross Silver Stream and Leishmans Creek and make the steep 400 m climb to the top of Powder Hill for a challenging tramp with spectacular views.
This description is based on a clockwise circuit of the track. You can start in either direction but be aware you must walk about 900 m on gravel by Silverstream Valley Road, sharing this section with vehicles. This is regardless of which entrance you use.
The track begins by following Leishmans Creek at a gradual uphill gradient. It then crosses the creek and starts to rapidly climb. There are no bridges so expect to get wet feet when crossing Leishmans Creek and Silverstream if you complete the loop.
After you cross the creek, you will immediately find a short steep climb with a rope to assist you if the track is slippery underfoot.
The track then climbs through kanuka and broadleaf forest scattered with podocarps, including Halls Totara and Rimu. Birdlife is abundant, with Kererū, Bellbird/korimako, Tūī, Grey warbler/riroriro and Fantail/pīwakawaka particularly common.
As you climb higher, the ascent mellows a little and provides magnificent views of the Silverpeaks and Taieri Plains. As you emerge onto the summit of Powder Hill, follow the poled track through manuka, flax, inaka, wild spaniard and patches of snow tussock to the trig (525 m).
From here you can either return the way you came or carry on north and complete the loop track.
If you choose to carry on, the track takes you past quartz limestone cliffs which are unusual in the Dunedin geological landscape.
The track then descends back down the hill returning you to Silverstream Valley Road. Turn right once you leave the track to follow the gravel road where you will cross the Silverstream and eventually reach the carpark.
The track is accessed via Silverstream Valley Road, approximately 20 minutes by car from Dunedin City. There is no public transport to this track.
There is a formal car park at the end of the Silverstream Valley Road managed by the Dunedin City Council. There is also a small layby area 900 m before the formal car park if you wish to park at the southern entrance to the track.
Stay safe when crossing rivers
If you plan to cross unbridged rivers, know how to cross safely and be prepared for if you cannot cross.
Do not cross if the river is flooded, you cannot find safe entry and exit points or are unsure it’s safe. Turn back or wait for the river to drop. If in doubt, stay out.