Mt Thomas Forest Conservation Area

Mt Thomas Forest Conservation Area is the closest Conservation area to Chirstchurch, just a hours drive North of the city. It offers a range of walking tracks from 1 hour walks to full day hikes with hut accommodation available. Highlights include native Tawhai and Beech forests and stunning views over the Canterbury Plains to Pegasus Bay.

Kereru Track via Wooded Gully/Red Pine Track

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Duration of walk: 1 hour
Start location: Hayland Road, off the Oxford to Loburn Road near GarryRiver.

Key Highlights:

  • Views over the Canterbury Plains to Pegasus Bay, into the Lees Valley and the upper Okuku River
  • Popular family picnicking and camping area with Woodend Gully stream running through it.
  • Pass through native Tawhai and Beech forests

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Forest Track via Wooded Gully/Summit Tracks

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Duration of walk: 2 hours return
Start location: Hayland Road, off the Oxford to Loburn Road near GarryRiver.

Key Highlights:

  • Views over the Canterbury Plains to Pegasus Bay, into the Lees Valley and the upper Okuku River
  • Pass through native Tawhai and Beech forests

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Red Pine Track via Wooded Gully Track

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Duration of walk: 3 hours return
Start location: Hayland Road, off the Oxford to Loburn Road near GarryRiver.

Key Highlights:

  • Views over the Canterbury Plains to Pegasus Bay, into the Lees Valley and the upper Okuku River
  • Pass through native forest to the saddle with two stream crossings.
  • See one of the large rimu (red pine) that is one of the few remaining in this forest

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Wooded Gully Track

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Duration of walk: 3 hours one way to summit
Start location: Hayland Road, off the Oxford to Loburn Road near GarryRiver.

Key Highlights:

  • Views over the Canterbury Plains to Pegasus Bay, into the Lees Valley and the upper Okuku River
  • Popular family picnicking and camping area with Woodend Gully stream running through it.
  • Pass through native Tawhai and Beech forests

More information


Summit Track – to Mt Thomas Summit

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Duration of walk: 3 hours one way to summit
Start location:  Hayland Road, off the Oxford to Loburn Road near GarryRiver.

Key Highlights:

  • Sweeping panoramic views of the Canterbury Plains, Banks Peninsula and the Southern Alps.
  • Pass through native Tawhai and Beech forests
  • Summit is 1023metres

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Ridge Track – to Mt Thomas Summit

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Duration of walk:  3 hours to Bob’s Camp Bivouac Route turnoff, 5 hours to Mt Thomas Summit (all times are one way)
Start location: Hayland Road, off the Oxford to Loburn Road near GarryRiver.

Key Highlights:

  • Sweeping panoramic views of the Canterbury Plains, Banks Peninsula and the Southern Alps.
  • Pass through native Tawhai and Beech forests
  • Summit is 1023metres
  • Basic Bunk Biv hut available

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Pinchgut Hut via OkukuRiver

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Duration of walk: 5 hours one way
Start Location:  Loburn – Whiterock Road, left into Taaffes Glen Road.

Key Highlights:

  • Pass through native Tawhai and Beech forests
  • Pass through impressive stand of Kanuka
  • panoramic views of the Canterbury Plains, BanksPeninsula and the Southern Alps
  • DOC Hut available

More information