The beech forests and historic goldfields of Victoria Forest Park offer an excellent range of day walking opportunities. All of these tracks are within 30min drive from Reefton. They range from short and well graded tracks to full day wilderness walking. All of them offer a taste of Reefton's fascinating history.
Some of these tracks can be ridden by mountain bike, see Reefton mountain bike tracks.
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Short/easy Reefton day walks
These walks are well graded and are between 15min and 1 hr 30 min in duration.
Alborns coal mine truck
Alborns Coal Mine Track
Time: 1 hr 30 min
Begins at a carpark 9 km along Soldiers Road which leaves the Reefton highway (SH 7) just south of the town. Scattered among old coal mine workings are remains of makeshift winch equipment, including an old Leyland lorry. Other features are distinctive "coal measures", vegetation and views of the Victoria and Paparoa Ranges.
Time: 15 min loop
Just south of the Reefton Saddle on the Reefton highway (SH 7) is a picnic area with tap water and a toilet. A track suitable for wheelchairs goes through beech/exotic forest.
Golden Fleece Walk
Time: 15 min loop
The track starts at the Murray Creek car park at Blacks Point which is located east of Reefton along SH7. The track travels along the Murray Creek Track for five minutes before branching off to the right, crossing Murray Creek and ending at the Blacks Point Museum. Return to the carpark via SH7
Old chimneys at Waiuta
Waiuta Town Walk
Time: 1 hr 30 min
The township of Waiuta is signposted from the Reefton highway (SH 7), 21 km south of Reefton. Follow the sealed and shingle road a further 16 km to Waiuta. The road is suitable for cars and buses. Once you get to the site walk from the main information site along Top Road. This walk passes the Blackwater mine, settlement and recreation areas. Historic photos depicting the town are interpreted along the walk.
Prohibition Mine and Ball Mill
Time: 1 hr
From the old Waiuta town site, "Pro Road" winds up to the top of the country's deepest mineshaft (879 metres) and foundations of the ball mill where quartz was ground to extract gold. There are fine views from a 580 metre altitude. Part of the return journey can be made via the miners' short-cut track, which leaves the road just below the mine.
Longer more challenging Reefton day walks
These tracks are between half a day to a full day in duration and require some fitness and experience.
Snowy Battery Track
Time: 2 hr 30 min
From the old Waiuta town site a well formed downhill track leads you to the remains of a massive gold extraction plant, including large cyanide tanks and machinery foundations. The return journey can be either: returning by the track in, following the water race from the battery to powerhouse site then up a gentle graded track to Waiuta, or from the powerhouse crossing the river to Hukarere Road for a prearranged pick up.
Murray Creek Track
Murray Creek - girls walking
Time: 5 hrs loop track
The main Murray Creek track loops through the goldfield, taking in the Energetic, Inglewood and Ajax gold mines, Cement Town and Chandlers open-cast coal mine. The track starts at Blacks Point which is located east of Reefton along SH7.
Time: 2 hrs 25 mins
This track starts at the Energetic junction, on the Murray Creek Track, approximately 30 minutes walk from the Blacks Point carpark. It passes the Energetic and Bolitho Mines and partially follows an old tramline, before ending at the Lankey Creek carpark on SH7, approximately 3 km east of Blacks Point.
Progress Water Race
Time: 2 hr return
A footbridge crosses the Inangahua River to a good track which follows the disused water race, occasionally crossing side gullies via steps, to end at the Deep Creek-Inangahua River confluence. Those walkers who have more time on their hands can continue to the Golden Lead Battery.
Golden Lead Battery
Time: 6 hr return
From the end of the Progress Water Race Walk, a rough track climbs and descends numerous spurs and crosses two bridges to reach Golden Lead battery, standing in a small grassy clearing. In fine weather it is possible to walk in the creek bed, avoiding the steeper sections of the track.
Time: 1.5 hrs return
This track starts at the end of a 6km forestry road which turns off SH69, just north of Larrys River, approximately 16km north of Reefton. It follows the true right bank of Larrys River, winding through beech forest and ending at the historic Caledonian goldmine. Historic remnants include a steam engine and a quartz stamping battery. Care must be taken crossing Larrys River.
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Access to these tracks is via the state highways that surround and dissect Victoria Forest Park as well as a number of secondary roads.
Bird and wildlife watching
Victoria Forest Park is home to a significant population of native bird species. You will see plenty of weka and bush robins. Keep an eye out for the less common kaka and kakariki.
Rivers, such as the Inangahua, Waitahu and Larrys Creek all offer world class trout fishing opportunities.
There are a plethora of historic sites and relics around Reefton, mostly relating to quartz gold mining. In fact many of the walking tracks were originally formed as accessways to mines.
Mountain biking and cycling
Some of these tracks can be ridden by mountain bike - most of them are within cycling distance (along the road) from Reefton.
After your walk on a hot summer day, try cooling off in one of the many swimming holes around Reefton.