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Heaphy Track: Gouland Downs Hut - Saxon Hut

Intermediate
 4.0 (1)

An easy section of track across Gouland Downs with two rivers to cross on swing bridges or to ford.


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Map Key

3.1

Miles

5.1

KM

Singletrack

2,363' 720 m

High

2,025' 617 m

Low

393' 120 m

Up

115' 35 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

12%

Max Grade (7°)

Dogs No Dogs

E-Bikes Unknown

Open to mountain bikers from May 1st to September 30th each year. No night riding, maximum group size is six, huts must be booked in advance.

Description

The track after Gouland Downs Hut passes first through a stand of beech forest adorning a limestone outcrop before descending to cross a flat area of Gouland Downs. There are two old style swing bridges on this section of track. If the rivers are low it is much easier to ford them than struggle across the bridges with a bike.

After crossing the Downs, the track climbs easily up, meandering through beech forest before emerging into the tussock clearing where Saxon Hut is situated 5km from Gouland Downs Hut.

The Saxon Hut is named after John Saxon, who surveyed the track in 1886. Saxon Hut is a well-built, older style hut with an open plan single room, wood fire, long-drop toilet, fresh water, and gas-cooking facilities scenically located on the western edge of the Gouland Downs among red spinifex tussocks.

Its a great place to listen for the call of the Kiwi at night, and you might be lucky enough to see one as well.

Contacts

Local Club: MTB Trails Trust

Land Manager: Department of Conservation

Shared By:

Alan Eskrick

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#5

in South Island

#15343

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#5

in South Island

#158

in New Zealand

#15,343

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36 Since Aug 28, 2015
Intermediate

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Photos

Fording a stream on Gouland Downs is faster than crossing the old swing bridge
Aug 6, 2015 near Takaka, NZ
Crossing the headwaters of Big River, Gouland Downs. Much faster than the swingbridge if the river is low.
Sep 26, 2015 near Takaka, NZ
Stepping carefully across Big River
Sep 26, 2015 near Takaka, NZ
Crossing Gouland Downs
Aug 6, 2015 near Takaka, NZ
Mountain bikers at Saxon Hut
Aug 6, 2015 near Takaka, NZ
Swingbridge across the headwaters of Big River. Better to ford the river if it is low.
Sep 26, 2015 near Takaka, NZ

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