Pinchgut Track (Ōkūkū River - Pinchgut Hut)

  • 6 hr return by the same track
  • Easy/medium

An easy day walk or overnighter to a hut in the foothills behind Mt Thomas

Okuku River • By matthew.
Pinchgut Track (Ōkūkū River - Pinchgut Hut): Key information
Walking time
1 – 2 days
6 hr
Return by the same track
Return by the same track
Narrow in parts with the odd scramble over recent bony slips. Grades explained
No bookings — open access
No — open access
Pinchgut Track (Ōkūkū River - Pinchgut Hut): Find it
Fox Creek, Taaffes Glen Road, Whiterock
200m – 360m
Altitude change 160m

This track sidles along the true right bank of the Okuku River to Pinchgut Hut, one of the closest backcountry huts to Christchurch. 

Pinchgut Hut • By matthew.

Follow signs to Loburn, then Loburn North, then Whiterock. Watch for the Taaffes Glen Road turn off just after a single lane bridge. This shingle road leads through the Whiterock Downs Farm and over a ford. Eventually the hills close in and the river flats run into forest. There are some small parking spots here near a big clearing on the right (4WD access only).  

The track starts with a marked ford across the Ōkūkū River, so you might want to save putting your boots on until you are across. If the river is up, this ford will quickly become impassible. 

The track leads past a few beehives and bends right to meet an old 4WD track (watch for the marker poles) before ambling alongside the river. The trackside is rich with kōwhai and the leafless Clematis afoliata. There are 3 recent slips to climb above. Although these slips are benched, there's a bit of exposure and they're gritty when dry.

1 hour from the start, the track drops onto the riverbed at Whare Stream. There is some clambering around boulders and perhaps a little wading here. The track takes up again just along from Whare Stream, and climbs the hillside. The track continues easily to the hut, passing through a section of kānuka and gorse just before meeting the wide, old 4WD track and dropping a few metres to the hut.

Pinchgut Hut • Standard Hut (DOC). Capacity: 9.

The hut itself is located in the frosty valley of Pinchgut Stream. Some camping is available on flats across the stream.

A variant coming out can be found by going up the old 4WD track to Whare Spur and shortly after this, going down an unmarked but well-cut continuation of the 4WD track to Whare Stream, then out to the Okuku. In wasp season (late summer to autumn) there are often wasp nests on the main track and in this section.

ID 2245

About this track

Added 12 August 2007 by matthewmatthew. 2 revisions, most recently 10 July 2023 by HonorarHonorar.
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