Black Birch Track

Last Modified: 9-1-2018 19:27

DOC sign on Black Birch Track
DOC sign on Black Birch Track

Black Birch Track is a walking and mountain biking track in the Awatere Valley within the Ferny Gair Conservation Area. Access is via public easement across farmland, with approximately 2km from the Awatere Valley Road to the start of the DOC managed area. The track follows Black Birch Stream north through scrub and then west through kanuka forest between the Black Birch and Blairich Ranges. From Awatere Valley Road to Black Birch Bivvy is about 9km. Hunting and dogs are permitted in the area with appropriate permission from DOC. Mountain biking is also a permitted activity in the area.

The intial parts of the track are relatively flat and suitable for all levels of fitness, however there is a steep climb for the last 1.5km to Black Birch Bivvy, which is situated at about 840m altitude. In addition to the main track it is also possible to make a short but steep climb up to Blairich Ridge from the start of the track.

For many years, access to the area was restricted due to being surrounded by private land, however partial lease of Blairich Station in 2015 opened up public access and volunteer efforts involving NZ Deerstalkers, Marlborough Mountainbike Club, RNZAF cadets and Outward Bound students helped create and improve tracks.

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