Blue Duck Valley Road
Track distance: 25 km return
Start location: Seaward Valley Station
The track starts 18 km north of Kaikoura at the Seaward Valley Station.
19 km north of Kaikoura. This is a grunt climb up to the famous Blue Duck Valley Scientific Reserve. The area is lowland podocarp forest. The reserve climbs up to the limestone slopes of Mt Alexander ridgeline. 25 kms return.
Clarence Reserve to Forbes Hut
Track distance: 27.8 km one way
Start location: Clarence Reserve Carpark
A good weekend track over the Blind Saddle to Forbes hut to explore the area of the Clarence Reserve. The Clarence is located at the Ka Whata Tu o Rakihouia Conservation Park and can be described as a vast and rugged high-country landscape straddling the Seaward Kaikōura Range.
To access the track from Kaikōura, follow SH1 south for five kilometers to the Waiau/Mt Lyford turnoff, and head inland to the car park at Kahutara River bridge, 25 kilometres from Kaikōura. There is a locked gate here, however, mountain bikers do not need an access permit. Mountain bikers are requested to use roads and formed tracks only.
The track first crosses the Kahutara River. Bikers need a good level of fitness since there is lots of climbing through farmland and native forest, changing to shrub land then alpine vegetation near the top.
The biggest climb is over the Blinds Saddle up to highest point of the track around 1200m. Make a stop at Blinds Saddle for some rewarding panoramic views. Along the way down the Seymour Stream, you will see some historic huts from the early farming days and following on the Seymour brings you to the Clarence River and Forbes Hut where you can stay overnight.
All operating huts in this area are standard huts, requiring a back country hut season pass or a one-night hut ticket. Huts in the area are all equipped with bunks, drinking water and open fires places, although best to take a portable cooker. Forbes hut has 10 bunk beds.To get out of the valley, it’s the same way you came in.
There are many opportunities for adventure beyond Forbes Hut. For these options, please obtain more information here or check out the map.
Multiple day track with overnight in huts
Impressive views from Blind Saddle and summit
Expansive and rugged high country
Good to note
Surface – Gravel, 4wd track, riverbed
Hut pass/ticket required for huts. Kaikoura i-SITE