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Coronet Loop Trail Overnight

18 April 2023

Words: Isabella Guise
Photos: Grant Guise

In the summer holidays my Dad asked my brother Zach and I if we wanted to do a bikepacking trip on the Coronet Loop Trail. We said yes. So Dad put our bikes on the back of the car and we traveled south. We went to Riverton first for some surfing and then on to Queenstown.

The Coronet Loop Trail is normally a one day ride, but Zach is only nine and I’m eleven, plus we love staying in huts, so we decided to make it an overnight trip. On the first day we went to the supermarket, loaded up on our favourite snacks, and then went up to the start of the loop.


We began on the Coronet Peak Road, rather than in Arrowtown to avoid the first big hill. So we started with a quick uphill up to Skippers Saddle, and then we mistakenly went down Skippers Canyon Road instead of the Skippers Pack Track. This was okay, because the Skippers Canyon Road was really fun. From there we had a long uphill in the hot afternoon sun to the top of Green Gate Saddle. At the Saddle we had a quick snack break, then enjoyed the long, flowing downhill.

When we got to Green Gate Hut Zach and I were very confused, there was no door on the old stone hut! “Dad, is this the right place? The door’s missing”, Zach and I asked. Dad told us that it was the right place and we would be sleeping here tonight. We entered the hut and had a look around. There was a single window that was very dirty and there were many cracks in the wall by the window. The hut had a double bed, a bunk bed, a table and some hooks where we could hang our stuff. It was originally used for gold mining in the mid 1800’s, and then for sheep mustering.


There was a stream by the hut so we decided to go and check it out. As we were walking down to the stream we heard goats and began to look around for them. They were up on a large bluff, far away. We watched them for a bit and then went down to the stream, it was small and fast flowing. We filled our drink bottles and then went back to the hut. Dad had brought some dehy meals so we had those for dinner.

After dinner we had some nice warm milo. While we drank our milo we played cards. After this we got ready for bed. We were all wrapped up in our sleeping bags as the sun set.

That night there was a storm so bad that I thought the roof was going to be blown off. Dad was up most of the night worrying how it would be tomorrow, but somehow Zach managed to sleep through the whole thing.


The next morning we were all very tired. Dad got up slightly earlier to make us breakfast, which was instant oats and milo. After breakfast we had to get ready for the day. We got changed into warm, wet weather gear, packed our bags and got all our rubbish from the hut.

We were soon ready to go and began our ride with a climb up to Picnic Rock. We had a quick break for water and then had a super fun ride down before the climb to Easter Island. We stopped for snacks and water at Easter Island, then kept going.


The rest of the climb was pretty quick up to Deep Creek Saddle, where we of course had more snacks! The downhill from here was the most fun yet! It had big berms that flowed nicely on the long downhill to the road, and then went down the road right to the bottom of the valley. Within the valley there were a lot of lupin flowers, and they were very pretty with lots of different shades of pink, red and purple.

Zach’s highlight was going through as many muddy puddles as possible. We continued down the valley until we got to Arrowtown, and finally finished our long bike ride with hot chips and chicken nuggets.