Leith Saddle Track

Dunedin City District

A track into the cloud forest!

A very family friendly walking track with heaps of parking. This track takes you from the top of the Northern Motorway at the Leith Saddle up into a dense cloud forest along a very well surfaced track. Once out of the forest it opens up into tussock lands on the Swampy Spur where you will find a nice park bench to check out the view of Dunedin and Blueskin Bay. From here the track gets rougher and climbs way up to the Swampy Summit. It links up with other tracks like the Swampy Ridge Track and the Pineapple Track if you hike far enough.


From Dunedin, head over the Northern Motorway (SH1) and stop at the crest of the drive, you will notice a large parking area off to the left with mounds of gravel. The track starts opposite the parking lot.

Other adventures in close proximity

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A simple day

After several hiking fails to get this track off the list as a family, we were finally set up and ready to explore. We had invited a good friend and her son along for the trek up the hill to keep motivation in the younger folks. Parking was ample and the sun was out. Not just out, but it was getting to be quite a hot day with a very warm wind blowing in from the north. With Sequoia in a backpack and the two young boys in tow, we started up the very steep incline though the cloud forest. It really is a very unique forest with all the New Zealand Ceder and fern trees. I was once told of a huge fire that swept though these forests and left only a few old growth trees standing. You can see the dead trees still sticking out of the forest canopy.

The trail was very well maintained and had lots of fun boardwalks and stair sections for the kids to jump around on. About halfway up we made it to a bench seat overlooking Dunedin. After this the track got quite rough, which the kids loved even more, we even let out little Sequoia for a clamber up the rocks. Once up on the Spur at the trig the wind was intense and the kids couldn't stand straight, they would just hold onto our legs as we walked. On the way back down, there was a lot of running and keeping up with the boys. The end.

Where can I find another Cloud Forest? - Stu