Oxford Forest

Oxford Forest Conservation Area covers an area of 11,350 hectares with tracks through the tawai/beech and scattered podocarp forests. Choose from day walks, overnight tramps or mountain biking (permitted on the Wharfedale Track only). Lighting of fires is prohibited during periods of extreme fire risk, and some areas or tracks may be closed.

There are three car park access points: -

Ashley Gorge Track

Duration: 1 hour loop track
Location: start at the Ashley Gorge Reserve and head north over the brigde. Once clear of the bridge take the track on your left.
Intensity: Suitable for people of all abilities and fitness
Description of Walk: This short bush walk suitable for families is through regenerating forest with examples of Kanuka, Lancewood, Fuschsia, Matai, Broadleaf and Whiteywood. This area is also the habitat of the endangered native snail "Wainui Edwardi".
Important Information: Dogs allowed but must be on leash (attached to a human)

Coopers Creek to Ryde Falls Track

Duration: 3 hours one way
Description of Walk: This well formed track initially crosses cleared private land with views of the plains and surrounding hills. It enters the beech forest and finally descends to Coopers Creek to view the five tier Ryde Falls. Return the same way.
Intensity: Suitable for people of all abilities and fitness
Important Information: No dogs allowed on the private land and walkers must keep to the track. “Rydes Tramway” route is not maintained and is overgrown.

View Hill to Ryde Falls Track

Duration: 2 hr one way (3 km)
Route: Turn off the Wharfedale Track about 20 minutes into the forest from the car park. Descend to Coopers Creek to view Ryde Falls.
Intensity: Suitable for people of all abilities and fitness

Link Track - View Hill to Coopers Creek Track

Duration: 3 hours one way walking
Route: To take this link track turn off Wharfedale Track about 10 minutes into the forest from the car park and join Ryde Falls Track. Follow this track east to Coopers Creek car park.
Intensity: Suitable for people of moderate abilities and fitness. Also suitbale for mountain biking

Wharfedale Track

Duration: 5 hours one way
Description of Walk: This long, easy graded track was used as a stock route in the 1890s and now provides access for trampers. The Wharfedale Hut is a basic 10-bunk hut, sited on the true right of Dobson Stream. This track is also popular with mountain bikers - Grade 3 track.
Intensity: Suitable for people of moderate abilities and fitness. Mountain biking - grade 3

Important Information: If you intend to stay, you will need to buy your hut ticket before setting out from the Department of Conservation or Kaiapoi i-SITE Visitor Centre.

Mt Oxford Track - Coopers Creek carpark to Mt Oxford summit

Duration: 4 hours one way
Description of Walk: Mt Oxford Track takes you from the Coopers Creek car park to the summit of Mt Oxford. 
Route: Start from Ryde Falls Track, cross the west branch of Coopers Creek and climb gradually through scattered pockets of beech forest, and then more steeply through snow tussock. From the summit of Mt Oxford (1364 metres) there are good views. An alternative descent returns to the car park at View Hill via the Wharfedale Track.
Intensity: Suitable for people of moderate to high abilities and fitness.

Black Hill Track - Wharfedale Track to Black Hill Hut Track

Duration: 3 hours one way
Route: Begin at Wharfedale Track junction north of the saddle between the Eyre and Townshend catchments. Climb steeply onto the ridge between Foster and Dobson Streams. The hut is a one-ticket hut with 6 bunks and a woodstove. From the hut further unmarked routes give access to Salmon Creek and the Puketeraki Range.
Intensity: Suitable for people of moderate to high abilities and fitness.
Important Information: If you intend to stay, you will need to buy your hut ticket before setting out from the Department of Conservation or Kaiapoi i-SITE Visitor Centre

Townshend to Black Hill Track

Duration: 3 hours one way
Route: Start at the confluence of the Townshend River and Dobson Stream (Grid Ref 334789) and climb a beech-covered ridgeline to Black Hill Hut.
Intensity: Suitable for people of moderate to high abilities and fitness.
Important Information: If you intend to stay, you will need to buy your hut ticket before setting out from the Department of Conservation or Kaiapoi i-SITE Visitor Centre

View Hill to Mt Oxford Track - View hill carpark to Mt Oxford Summit

Duration: 4 hours one way
Route: Branch off the Wharfedale Track about 20 minutes from View Hill car park and follow a forested ridge that opens onto tussock grassland around Mt Oxford.
Intensity: Suitable for people of moderate to high abilities and fitness.

Townshend Track – Wharfedale Hut to Lees Valley Road

Duration: 3 hours one way
Route: This is an extension of the Wharfedale Track. It crosses tussock flats, mostly on a four wheel drive track, returning to Lees Valley Road 1.5 km north of the Ashley River/Rakahuri bridge. If you wish to drive vehicles over this section of track you must contact Mt Pember Station. An alternative route exists between Shifton and Storm streams. It is not well marked but avoids the need to cross the Townshend River in times of high river levels.
Intensity: Suitable for people of moderate to high abilities and fitness. Mountain biking - grade 2
Important Information: If you intend to stay, you will need to buy your hut ticket before setting out from the Department of Conservation or Kaiapoi i-SITE Visitor Centre.