Blue Creek Track
- 1 hr return by the same track
This short walk sets off from the site of a gold mining town, exploring mining relics and a river resurgence.
Return by the same track
No bookings — open access
No — open access
|Courthouse Flat Campsite at the Wangapeka River Road end, west of Matariki. The road in is largely single lane shingle with several fords, suitable for standard vehicles. The Dart Ford may become impassible during or after rain.
Altitude change 70m
Courthouse Flat is the site of the old gold town of Wangapeka or Gladstone, which lasted about 2 years and peaked at a population of 250. It is also the northern gateway to the karst massif of Mount Owen. Many visitors simply drive in for the day, perhaps to avoid the sandflies, or perhaps to avoid being caught out by flooded fords.
There are several short walks in the area, but the Blue Creek Track is the pick of the crop.
From the campsite, cross the bridge over Granity Creek. A sign here points out the different options. Follow the grassy trail to the right, and another junction, where Nuggety and Blue Creeks meet. The township once stretched as far as this point. From here, turn left and take the marked path toward Granity Pass Hut.
A wide mining trail leads through forest. On the way are some stacked tailings, pieces of a pneumatic drill, and the components of a stamper battery that was never assembled.
Passing the marked junction to Granity Pass, the track crosses a bridge to the Culliford Battery, a small stamper in good condition. The Blue Creek resurgence is just beyond the battery: the river pouring out of a rock cave.
Return the way you came, and perhaps explore Nuggety Creek.