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Ryde Falls Walk, Mt Oxford

Home  »  South Island Walks  »  Mt Oxford  »  Ryde Falls Walk, Mt Oxford – Walk detail

The Ryde Falls Walk is an easy 12k walk that will take you around 6 hours to complete. The track is easy to follow with two small creeks to hop across. Around 1880, the Ryde brothers started logging in this area they had 500 acres to cut and fell, Totara, Black Beech, Matai, Kahikatea and Rimu. It is a 55k drive from Christchurch to the Ryde Falls Walk.

Quick Facts

        • Location: South Island NZ
        • Distance: 12 kms
        • Time needed: 6 Hours
        • Difficulty: Easy
        • Wheelchair Access: No
        • Route: Double back
        • Elevation: 554m
        • Wet Feet: Yes
        • Toilets: No
        • Dogs: No
        • Mobile Coverage: No
        • Last Updated: November, 2019
  • Track Highlights


  • Track Quality

    It is a very easy track to follow and easy to walk.

  • Hazards

    Two small creeks to hop across

  • Transport


  • Water

    Plenty of mountain creeks to collect water from. There was no toilet at the car park when we were there.

  • Driving Instructions

    From down town Christchurch, get on to Highway 73 to Arthurs Pass. 54.8 Ks out of town and 1.5 Ks before Sheffield is a turn off to the right to the Waimakarir Gorge. 4.8 Ks will bring you to the Waimakarir Bridge. There is a car park right in front of the left. Get out and take a look, walk across the bridge is better still. To the next turn off drive over the bridge along Harmans Gorge Rd for 6.4 ks to the next T section. This is Woodstook Rd, turn to the right. Drive for 2.6 Ks. At this T section, turn to the left on to Mountain Rd. Coopers Creek Drive for 2.8 Ks. At this T, Section follow your nose. Look for the mountain house sign and Coopers Creek. The last 1.3 Ks is on a dirt Rd.

  • Shops or Restaurants nearby

    Supermarket, cafes & restaurants in Oxford.

  • Area & Track History

    Around 1880, the Ryde brothers started logging in this area, they had 500 acres to work. Totara, Black Beech, Matai, Kahikatea and Rimu were logged up till 1909. The timber was sold in Canterbury and used for roofing shingles, posts, rails, building timber and railway sleepers. Fire was the biggest hazard for the brothers. In 1889 fire gutted the whole valley. The brothers we not the only ones to lose their mill.

  • Best Things To Do near this walk

  • Map location of Ryde Falls Walk, Mt Oxford

    Map of walk

Points of interest along the walk

In the map above, if you zoom in on the walk, you’ll see all the following track points and their location. Each point has photos along with a description about each one.

Point 1: Rydes falls Carpark

Don’t count on finding any sign post at the car park. We were lucky to meet up with a local farmer; he gave us the run down on the track. Go through the gate or over the sty. And along the farm track. The track going over the bridge will take you to the Mt Oxford Ridge track. A hard 4 hour climb. To start with, the track is a little rough and ready, long grass and the South Island much-loved plant, GORSE. There is a mud hole to hop over after the first 5 minutes. It’s best to walk down the side of the mud hole and on to the creek, then back on to the main track.

Point 2: First creek crossing

As you stroll along you will approach two sty’s, at the second sty, climb over this one, don’t follow the track down the hill. This is a modest 5 minute ascend to the top of the ridge, with good panoramic vies of Mt Oxford. Walking through this marvellous Beech bush makes up for the gorse and blackberry we had to walk through at the start of the walk. We didn’t hear a lot of native birds singing on this section of walk, but just over in the next valley the songs of the bellbird were booming all around us.

The lookout:
Well, only when the clouds stay away. The first Turn off on this walk, is that a sign post? Then only minutes away was the second sign post to the Rydes Falls. Only 10 minutes to the creek and lunch. 1 hour and 40 minutes in to the walk we arrive at the first creek crossing on the walk, not a stunning creek to sit by while having lunch, but its still beats being in town. After lunch we had a short uphill walk then an easy flat 20 minute walk to the Rydes tramway.

Point 3: Rydes Tramway

2 Hours. The Rydes tramway, is just off to the right, there is a lot of Information there for you read plus a couple of photos. The tramway track is closed to inexperienced trampers for a good reason. We took this way home for a look see, it was very interesting trying to follow the Rydes tramway but it took twice as long to get back to the car. After you manage to climb down and out of the vertical gorge’s then fight through the knee deep bog’s you will run out of track, nothing, yes it was demanding.

Point 4: Rydes Falls

Another 15 minutes and you arrive at the turn off to Wharfedale track. From the Wharfedale turnoff, you could walk back out to the road end in a very easy 40 minutes, better than 2 hours and 30 minutes. But today we will walk up to Ryde Falls, don’t believe the sign when it tells you, it is a 30 minute walk; it was a short enjoyable 15 minutes. When you walk out onto the main creek, walk 20 Mt up on the left hand side then cross over to the Y junction. You should see the orange triangle pointing up hill to the next terrace. Then walk over to the left and down to the track and a sign to Ryde Falls. It is an easy 3 minute stroll from here.

Ryde Falls is made up of three levels. You can climb your way up to the second level, but it is not for the faint heated, very dangerous if the ground is wet and slippery. NO, there is nothing wrong with this mountain water, drink all you want. Fill up your water bottles before walking out.

All walks in Mt Oxford…

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Contact info

Mount Oxford Walking Tracks Including Ryde Falls 125 Mountain Road, View Hill 7495, New Zealand

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