Horseshoe Bay


Horseshoe Bay


Oban, Stewart Island, New Zealand


Coastal walks north of Oban township taking you to the start of the Rakiura track






This route combines several longer walks from Oban township. You could do the walks separately, but combined they make a nice 5 - 6 hour day walk (about 16 km) return trip from Oban.

From the centre of Oban, walk north out of the town on Horseshoe Bay Road, or take a short diversion on Kamahi Road for some hill views of Oban with the option of going down to Bathing Beach. Descend past Mill Creek (a quick diversion to Halfmoon Bay cemetery is worth a look here) to Butterfield Beach and continue until you read Braggs Bay Road on the right. Go up Braggs Bay Road, and drop in to Moturau Moana native gardens about 200 metres up the road on the left. There is a balcony in the gardens with views back over the bay to Oban.

Continue along Braggs Bay Road and past Bragg Beach, noting the lovely golden sands in Stewart Island. The road ends and the Horseshoe Point track is signposted. Just a short distance from the start of the track is a historic cemetery on the right, and a little further on a trig. About 1.5 km along the coastal track the path descends to the golden sands of Dead Man Beach, then ascends again and a further kilometre takes you to Horseshoe Point where there is small trig and good views over Horseshoe Bay. Continue along the coastal track to Horseshoe Bay and follow the road or walk along the sandy beach.

About 1.5 km around Horseshoe Bay take Lee Bay Road on the left and follow this road to the end. You may encounter traffic on the road as this is the route for trampers doing the Rakiura track. There is a carpark at the end of the road and maps marking the start of the track. Start the Rakiura track for about 1 km to Little River, where there is an inland route up to Garden Mound, 162 metre climb. There is a trig at the top which is now covered by trees, but about 100 metres from the trig is a seat and a view across the Stewart Island bush back to Oban. The descent from Garden Mound to Lee Bay Road is very muddy (even in dry weather), and good shoes or tramping boots are required on this part of the track.

Return to Oban along Lee Bay Road, Horseshoe Bay and Horseshoe Bay Road (inland road, instead of the Horseshoe Point track). Look out for a seat, old ringer telephone and yellow pages along the road!

You can hire cycles in Oban and ride to Lee Bay Road, but cycling is not permitted on Horseshoe Point or Garden Mound tracks.

View of Oban from Moturau Moana native gardens View of Oban

Coastline near Dead Man beach Coastline near Dead Man beach

Horseshoe Bay Horseshoe Bay

Start of Rakiura walkway Rakiura walkway anchor

Coastline at start of Rakiura walkway Coastline of Rakiura walkway

Getting there

From the centre of Oban.

Other notes

There are no shops outside Oban, so take food, drinking water and other supplies before leaving. There is no public transport, but you can arrange transport to Lee Bay Road if, for example, you just want to do the Garden Mound walk.




Double track


gain162m loss162m begin1m end1m

Last modified

1 Mar 2010 by ledzep

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A Cheeky Monkey production, nice one!