The bridle path, completed in 1884, makes a pleasant if steep bush walk.

Track overview

4.2 km each way return via same track

Walking and tramping

3 hr up, 2 hr 30 min down Advanced: Tramping track

Dog access

No dogs

About this track


The bridle track makes a pleasant, if steep, bush walk. A short branch track near the top leads to the incline that carried coal down (and occasional cool-nerved passengers up). A lower branch to the Waimangaroa-Denniston road offers a shorter walking option.

Getting there

Denniston is 18 km northeast of Westport. From Westport, follow SH67 north for 15 km. Turn right at Waimangaroa onto the road to Denniston. 

The bottom of the track is signposted on Conns Creek Road behind Waimangaroa, the top end is signposted in Denniston township.

History and culture

Aside from the incline, which was used for the transportation of coal, the bridle path, completed in 1884, was the only means of access to Denniston. Travel along this route was either by horse, or on foot. 

Know before you go

Sections of the track involve creeks crossings, slippery rocks and a narrow track on a steep slope.

Creeks are subject to sudden high flows.

Suitable footwear, experience and care is required.

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.


Paparoa National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 731 1895
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   4294 Coast Road
RD 1
Runanga 7873
Postal Address:   4294 Coast Road
RD 1
Runanga 7873
Kawatiri / Westport Office
Phone:   +64 3 788 8008
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   Russell Street
Westport 7825
Postal Address:   PO Box 357
Westport 7866
Back to top