Download the Mt Thomas Forest adventure map (PDF, 1,766K) and check out what you can do.
This track starts by the Wooded Gully camping and picnic area at Mt Thomas Forest. Turn off Birch Hill Road onto Hayland Road and follow the wide straight shingle road 4 km to the end.
Birch Hill Road is sealed and can be accessed either from Oxford via Ashley Gorge Road, or Loburn from Rangiora.
Know before you go
The track is easy and well-graded, and suitable for young and old.
Usually the loop track takes 45 minutes to an hour, but the weather event at the end of May 2021 caused a major slip at the end of the loop and the track along the river was washed out.
This section is now closed until repaired. After reaching the summit, you can continue for another 10 minutes downhill to the second bridge. But you will need to return to the campsite and picnic area the same way.
Allow 1 hour 15 minutes to the second bridge and back, or 50 minutes to the summit and back.
Dogs are welcome – please keep them on a lead and clean up after them.
Go and explore
Look out for the Guardian Post when you get there. On it you'll find a special code word – write it down.