5 Hours 9 km


  • Crossing watercourses
  • Regenerating forest
  • Gold mining history



Steep terrain. Streams are unbridged and become impassable after heavy rain.

Follow an old gold-miners trail on this challenging, but varied day walk.

Follow an old gold miners trail as it weaves through the range between the Wairau Valley and Linkwater. A reasonable level of fitness is required for the Waikakaho/Cullen Creek Walkway along with some sturdy shoes. While the old gold mining township is long gone, signs mark the sites of old buildings.

Waikakaho Valley to 'Village Clearing' (2 hours)

Pass farm buildings and mining shafts before crossing Golden Belt Stream. From here, you will climb gradually on the eastern face of this spur through scrub and pasture before crossing to the western face.

You will arrive at the "village clearing", the centre of activity during the quartz-extracting period.

Village Clearing to Waikakaho Saddle (30 mins)

The main track leaves the village and zigzags before climbing steadily to the saddle.

Waikakaho Saddle to Cullen Creek (1 hour)

Beyond the saddle the track is a little rougher, descending gradually for about 30 minutes to a small grassy clearing. From here, you will follow a steep track down through forest to a private hut above Cullen Creek.

Private hut to the road end (1 hour 30 mins) 

Rejoining the old track, you will descends steeply to cross Prospector Creek. On the other bank it begins a spectacular sidle above the Creek, hewn in places out of near-vertical rock walls by the miners. It eventually descends and crosses Cullen Creek to the road end and the site of the former mining town, Cullensville.

plane Find & book flights

Department of Conservation

Track conditions often change. Be prepared by checking with the Department of Conservation before you go.

Waikakaho/Cullen Creek Walkway(opens in new window)