Running Through the Barrier!


Online entries now closed – email if desperate to get on.

Trail Boss: Roger Leslie. 5 Days. Fully Catered and supported. Trail Runners and fast hikers welcome. Head out by 8:00am, typically in by 4pm. 25-35km per day mostly over high country/farm 4WD tracks, single tracks, sheep tracks…

This is not a race! This is a recreational multi-day trail run/tramp.


When do I need to be where? End of Birchwood Road, Ahuriri Valley – (Click here for a map to the meet up point) By 4pm Monday 1st March 2021. Alternate options are to park at Holiday Park, Twizel and be uplifted from there at 1pm (bring $20 for the bus trip) or be uplifted from (and returned to) Queenstown Airport ($50) by 12pm.

How hard will the days be? Between 25-35km per day, 2nd day has a good climb of 1600m, remaining days no where near so much. This is more about a fun experience than any sort of race! But you will have some amazing experiences in places quite challenging for running/hiking.

“Mount Stafford and Mount Peterson at the head of Maitland Stream.”

What can we expect en route? AMAZING VIEWS, GREAT FOOD, fun leaders, friendly support people and a great bunch of other like minded outdoor nutters! Really hot temperatures! 30 degrees plus. Freezing cold temperatures! -5 degrees maybe colder with the wind chill factor – You can get all sorts of weather in these Canterbury Mountains. At this time of year it is typically warm/hot but southerly storms can blow through (short lived) at any time.

What do I need to bring?   Various layers of clothing – thermal underwear (legs and tops) t-shirts, fleece/merino mid weight tops, a warm pair of gloves, warm hat and/or Buff, SEAM SEALED water proof jacket. Toiletries. Couple of changes of undies. Your own plate/cutlery/mug. Sleeping bag and mat. Tent- Tents will be required every night – although, so that the back-up crew don’t need to carry too many tents, we will be encouraging sharing! So if you are coming with a friend one between two or three will be fine. If you are stuck we can source an extra tent or two. One large pack per person and your sleeping matt/bag will be transferred for you each day. You will need to run with a decent day-pack that can carry 1L of water, snacks, jacket, emergency blanket…

Oh and don’t forget your dress-ups for the parade! Items of ‘period’ costume to be brought and left in your car to be changed into before the grand parade 12pm on the Saturday. (We have a box of dress-ups that might work for some of ya)

Where are we going? 

Meet Monday 1st at the end of Birchwood Rd, Ahuriri Valley for our first night. Evening meal provided.

Tuesday. An incredible warm-up day planned! A climb of 600 mtrs over into the Dingle Burn top hut (the only bit of the week in Otago) and back to camp. Stunning views in all directions. (25kms)

Wednesday. The biggest day. Up the 4WD track (Ahuriri Valley) to Shamrock Hut, then following the Watson Stream (East Branch) up the Maitland Saddle in the Barrier Range (1,100 mtrs climb). This is quite a scramble but the view at the top will be worth the suffering. Then down to Temple Creek and 6kms of DOC track to the cark park and camp (35 kms).

Thursday – A mostly flat day crossing the Hopkins and Dobson rivers. For those that are that way inclined there is a nice climb up Ram Hill from the campsite (1368 mtrs) and great views over Lake Ohau. Camp is at Greta Lodge on the edge of Ohau (28kms)

Friday. Up a well formed track to the top of Ben Ohau (1522 mtrs) and on down to Twizel (25kms) camping at the Twizel Holiday Park where showers will be available. 

Saturday. Relaxing and getting ready for the Grand Parade! Afternoon markets, entertainment… Party!

Questions? About the Trail in particular call the trail boss Roger 021 761 087 or email 

Questions? About the Cavalcade in general? Or call the office 03 445 0111