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5 wish-list trails on NZ's South Island

A mix of South Island classics and lesser know gems

New Zealand's South Island is a globally renowned destination for exploring the outdoors, whether that's short trails on your doorstep or tackling one of the Great Walks. With over one hundred South Island trails to choose from on the Capra app we've picked five to put on your bucket list. Starting with a classic couple in Queenstown these will take you further afield to Wanaka, then to Hooker Valley under Mt Cook and then up to the northern region of the South Island. Moke Lake Loop (main photo)Distance: 6.3km, Difficulty: BlueMoke Lake is a small lake just out of Queenstown which has some stunning mountain and lake views. Starting at the edge of the Ben Lomond Station and Camping Ground you can loop the lake any way you like.Tips:You will be required to drive on a dirt road to get to the starting point. However, this road is generally in great condition and is used frequently by people camping at Moke Lake. Ben Lomond SummitDistance: 15.6km Difficulty: BlackThe Ben Lomond Track is a demanding climb and a full day's hike with a tough 1,350m +/- elevation gain in around 7km. On clear days runners and hikers are rewarded at the summit with spectacular panoramic views of Queenstown and the Ben Lomond Station. Roy's PeakDistance: 13km, Difficulty: BlackThis is a popular track especially in tourist seasons, it's not a hard technical trail but is a long climb up a wide path that will have you puffing straight away. Roy's Peak is most famous for its breathtaking views over Lake Wanaka, Mount Aspiring/Tititea and surrounding peaks after a steep climb through alpine meadows and tussock grasslands to the summit. Hooker Valley TrackDistance: 10.5km, Difficult: GreenA truly memorable trail that winds its way to the edge of Hooker Lake showcasing Mr Cook in the distance. The trail is fairly wide and an easily runnable surface that also takes you over the swing bridges you'll see in photographs. Your journey starts with one of the most scenic drives you'll ever experience as you approach up Mt Cook Road heading to the Mount Cook Village, but it doesn't stop there. The whole Hooker Valley has views for days! Rivers, mountains and glaciers!!!You can start the trail from the Hooker Valley main car park or from the Mount Cook Village itself but make sure you pack your camera and leave plenty of time as you'll be stopped more times than you can think of to take photos. Parachute RocksDistance: 11km, Difficulty: BlackStarting at the edge of Lake Rotoiti, the track ascends steadily through beech forest up to St Arnaud Range. Much of the climb is in the bush - a technical trail with plenty of tree roots and natural steps to negotiate as the trail zig-zags its way up towards the bush line.At about 1400m you come across Parachute Rocks and wonderful views of Nelson Lakes National Park. The track then gets steeper as you follow the orange poles up, straight up an exposed slope, to the St Arnaud Ridgeline. You are rewarded by spectacular views of the surrounding area, as described in "features of interest". Come back down the way you came.The lower section of the walk crosses moraine terraces deposited by past glaciers. As you climb through the beech forest, notice how it adapts to suit the changing altitude. The lower slopes are dominated by large red beech, with a healthy sub-canopy of other species, such as broadleaf and putaputawÄtÄ. Higher up, silver beech and finally the hardy mountain beech take over. Note how the mountain beech becomes progressively stunted as you climb higher to the bush line. Above the bush line (at 1400m), there are spectacular views from Parachute Rocks, which gained their name from a parachute-shaped gravel scree located just to the north. Trees give way to snow tussock, sub-alpine shrubs and, higher still, alpine herb fields. In late spring and early summer, these herbs flower, creating a glorious display of gold and white. The track climbs from here to the ridgeline, where you are rewarded by spectacular views of the surrounding area: east, down the Wairau Valley, north, to Mt Richmond Forest Park, west towards Kahurangi National Park and the Buller Valley, and south to the rest of Nelson Lakes National Park.

Matty Abel
New Zealand
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4 Tasmanian beauties to add to your plans

A small sample of great trails Tasmania has to offer.

Tasmania is home to many of Australia's greatest trails, from iconic multi-days like The Overland Track to short adventures just out of Hobart beneath Mt Wellington. If you're planning to head to Tassie and want a little inspiration of where to go here are four of the best. Wineglass Bay Loop (main photo)Distance 11.4KM, Difficulty: BlueA loop of Wineglass Bay is a must for everyone visiting Tasmania. Pending what way you go around (suggested clockwise) you will start with a solid climb up to the wineglass bay lookout which will give you Instagram worthy photos. From there you will drop down to the beach with the rest of your loop is reasonably flat. Tips:Recommended going early as the car park and trails can get quite busy. Especially in peak holiday season.📱 Open the trail on your phone by clicking hereViews of Lake St Clair at the end of the Echo Point to Cynthia Bay trail.Echo PointDistance 10.6km, Difficulty: Blue​Three-quarters of the way up Lake St Clair, in a dense and mossy forest, is the tiny Echo Point hut. The ferry can take you there or back but most people catch the ferry out and walk/run back. Booking are essential for the ferry from Lake St Clair Lodge.The trail from Echo Point is gently undulating shaded single track which is very runnable in most parts. There are certainly technical spots of rocks, roots and fallen trees to navigate. The trail follows the lake shore and there are several opportunities to duck down onto the small shore beaches.Tips:* Do not expect any mobile phone data coverage. Distances are not marked on the track so the Capra app is great to gauge how far you have to go.* For ferry information and bookings please phone (03) 6289 1137. ​* There is a bush toilet located at Echo Point. All other facilities are at Cynthia Bay.Safety:* Take a snake bite bandage in snake season.📱 Open the trail on your phone by clicking hereViews of Hobart from the Organ Pipes LoopOrgan PipesDistance: 7.3km, Difficulty: RedThis adventure gets you very close to one of Hobart’s most famous landmarks. The track leaves from The Springs on kunanyi ​/ Mount Wellington and climbs towards, then beneath the extraordinary Organ Pipes. You’ll stretch your legs on this route and also your neck as you stare up at the formidable “pipes”. These columns of dolerite, up to 120m high, were formed as subsurface molten rock cooled and contracted into regular hexagonal pillars. The track ends at The Chalet, a rustic stone shelter. Return the same way!The Organ Pipes are one of the most distinctive features on Moun​t Wellington and form a magnificent sight along this track which runs just below their base. The dolerite rock that comprises the towering, columnar cliffs was formed during the Jurassic period when Tasmania was in the process of separating from Antarctica during the final stages of the breakup of Gondwana. The cliffs are a favourite haunt of rock climbers.This track is managed by the Wellington Park Management Trust.📱 Open the trail on your phone by clicking hereDove Lake views to Cradle MountainDove LakeDistance: 5.7km, Difficulty: BlueThis track is surely one of the premier runs in Tasmania. Starting from Dove Lake, a glacially carved lake directly beneath Cradle Mountain, the run offers both intimate and epic views of the famous mountain.The track undulates around Dove Lake, traverses beneath the mountain, then returns through magnificent rainforest to the starting point. The run takes you through some of Tasmania's special vegetation, from button grass ​to myrtle, sassafras, Fagus and King Billy pine.Tips:It is strongly advised that all visitors park at the visitor centre, validate their parks pass and take the shuttle bus service into the park. Vehicle access into the park is only permitted outside of shuttle bus operating hours. Limited parking is available at Waldheim & Ronny Creek.

Matty Abel
Australia
Tasmania
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4 great waterfalls to discover from Sydney

Perfect additions to your weekend exploring.

Clover Hill Trail Distance 7KM, Difficulty: Blue Located in the Macquarie Pass National Park this beauty has many hidden gems and definitely worth having on your to-do list. A gentle hike or run along Clover Hill Road with the option to head up Clover Hill on your way out. Continuing along the dirt road, the trail will turn into a single trail which is quite technical and challenging as you pass Rainbow Falls, Mulangong Falls, and finishing at Clover Falls (feature photo). The trail is very hard to find at times, however, there were red ribbons on the trees to follow when I completed this trail to make it a little easier.Return the same way back for an awesome day out. Tips:Pack food and hydration if hiking, runners will compete in around 60-90 minutes and walkers over 2hrs pending on how often you stop for photos and to take in the scenery. Fitzroy Falls Distance 9.9km, Difficulty: Red Drink in the awe-inspiring views of the Southern Highlands’ as explore your way along the East and West Rim trails starting from the Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre hub.You’ll begin this route starting on the East rim track which will also take you along the Wildflower Track. As a 6.1km out and back trail, the trail is both scenic and informative, taking you to a number of spectacular lookouts with views of the valley below and the falls, as well as offering you an exciting excursion through a diverse range of native flora.After making your way back along the east rim trail, you will return to the diversion that will take you now out to the west rim trail. Following this gently undulating trail, you’ll traverse the western escarpment of the valley making your way through eucalypt forests and lush rainforest all the way out to Renown Lookout. Along the way, make sure you take some time to explore the multiple lookouts along the way that will boast some breathtaking views of the dramatic gorges and waterfalls in the Morton National park. Tips: There is parking available at the Fitzroy fall visitor centre. A parking fee of $4 for all-day parking will be charged.If you are wanting a great pie as a reward after your adventure, it is well worth the quick drive south down Nowra road to the Fitzroy Falls General Store. Known for its now award-winning pies and astonishing range of pies, there's no reason why you wouldn't make your way there. Curra Moors Loop Track Distance: 10.6km, Difficulty: Red The Curra Moors loop track through the eastern section of the Royal National Park is one to definitely put on the list if you are wanting to experience some of the best parts of the Coastal Trek but don’t want to do the entire thing. With dramatic sandstone cliffs, spectacular coastal views and waterfalls spilling into the ocean, all of which is packed into a manageable loop track, there's no doubt you won’t be left at the end wanting more.Tips:There is a small parking lot at the start of the trail but if this fills up you can park on the side of the road.There is no 'safe' drinking water available on course. Although you do visit a number of creeks/rivers it's best not to drink from them as of the foot traffic around and also pollution from the main road. Minnehaha Falls Distance: 2.4km, Difficulty: Green Minnehaha Falls (or Minni-Ha-Ha Falls) is a must-do for all waterfall and swimming hole lovers. Only a short drive from Katoomba this gem offers a lot of bang for your buck and plan your day right, you might get it to yourself.Tips:Plenty of parking available. Pack a towel and your swimmers

Matty Abel
Australia
Sydney
Event Training

Ultra-Trail Australia Training Runs

A selection of UTA specific training runs we recommend you complete to have a great race day.

A selection of training runs on the Ultra-Trail Australia course that we at Capra HQ highly recommend you complete to give yourself a great chance of having a successful race day. We have ordered these from one to six. Please note all runs might not be applicable for the 22km and 50km and we suggest repeating runs that are relative to the course you are racing.Please take into account: Much of the UTA event course is through remote areas which provide a very different experience to going on a trail run near your home. For your own safety, when training on the event course, you need to be aware that you could be in danger if you got lost, especially in difficult weather conditions. Do not rely on technology. Batteries die, phones get wet. Run with friends and let people know which run route you intend to follow. Before you head out check for any recent National Parks alerts for the Blue Mountains. Run #1‍ Hello UTA, Hello Quads! 📱 (16.2km, 785m elevation change, out & back)Part of Capra Ultra-Trail Australia Training Collection and recommended as your first training run in this collection as you prepare for Ultra-Trail Australia 2020. This run will cover the the first 7.5km of the UTA22km course which also follows the final leg of both the 50km and 100km courses and is a great intro run to your Ultra-Trail Australia Training. The start is at Queen Victoria Hospital, at the end of Tableland Road in Wentworth Falls and follows Kedumba Valley Road firetrail down through Kedumba Pass to the first water crossing where you will turn around and make your way back the same way you went down into the valley.Ultra-Trail Australia Training Run #2 Ultra-Trail Australia 22km 📱 (21.6km, 1200 elevation change, one-way)Part of RunHunters Ultra-Trail Australia Training Collection and recommended as your second training run in this collection as you prepare for Ultra-Trail Australia. This run will cover the whole UTA22km which follows the final leg of both the 50km and 100km courses. You will require a car shuffle, train ride or Uber transfer to make this run possible.The start is at Queen Victoria Hospital, at the end of Tableland Road in Wentworth Falls and follows Kedumba Valley Road firetrail down through Kedumba Pass, then Sublime Point Ridge firetrail across The Jamison Valley over Jamison Creek and Leura Falls Creek and through to the Old Sewage Treatment Works site. The route then follows single track up to Leura Forest and along Federal Pass before the last climb up Furber Steps to the finish at Scenic World.Ultra-Trail Australia Training Run #3Holy Stairs! 📱 (23.2km; 1474 elevation change, out & back)Part of RunHunters Ultra-Trail Australia Training Collection and recommended as your third training run in this collection as you prepare for Ultra-Trail Australia. This run will cover sections of the 50km and 100km courses as well as the UTA11km on the return leg from the Fairmont Resort to Scenic World. One of our favourite runs that includes a lot of stairs rewarded with breathtaking views.Starting at Scenic World you will jump straight onto the Ultra-Trail Australia course and make your way around to The Three Sisters before dropping down the Giant Stairwell and into Leura Forest. From there, you will have a climb up Leura Falls Stairwell and onto the cliff tops with great views of Mount Solitary. You will then pop out onto Willoughby Rd where you will follow the road until you reach the Fairmont Resort for a turn around point. On your return, you will take the same route until you hit Leura Forest where you will take the final 5km of the Ultra-Trail Australia course to Furber Stairs and up to Scenic World for your finish. Ultra-Trail Australia Training Run #4 What a loop! 📱 (34.2km, 1474 elevation change, loop)This run will cover both the 50km and 100km courses and has been completed by many successful Ultra-Trail Australia Finishers over the years.Starting just before Gordon Falls, you will be straight on course starting with a nice little descent to warm the body up before heading over towards the Fairmont Resort and over to Wentworth Falls. After crossing Wentworth Falls you will have a bit of road running to complete where you will pass the final Check Point for the 100km and 50km which also is the start of the 22km. You will then drop down Kedumba Valley which is a remote area so please make sure you have sufficient amounts of nutrition and hydration. After some time you will approach Leura Forest where you will go from open fire trail into a single trail and met with a climb up Leura Forest and back to your start/finishing point. A tough training run and recommended practicing this run with your mandatory gear. Ultra-Trail Australia Training Run #5 Ultra-Trail Australia 50km 📱 (50.4km, 2400 elevation change, loop)The Ultra-Trail Australia 50 was introduced in 2013 and has quickly stepped out of the shadow of the 100km event to become an iconic event in its own right. As a shorter ultra, the 50km is a perfect race for runners taking on their first ultra. This challenging 50km course follows the second half of the 100km route through the Kedumba Valley. 2,400m of elevation gain (2,400m of climb and 2,400m of descent).Ultra-Trail Australia Training Run #6Ultra-Trail Australia 100km (Training Course) 📱 (86km, 3693 elevation change, loop)This is where it all started. AROC Sport searched the country for the best place to build what would be Australia’s most challenging, stunning and prestigious 100km trail running event. The breathtaking trails located in the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park of Australia were the obvious choice. Known as The North Face 100 from 2008 to 2015 and as Ultra-Trail Australia 100 from 2016 onwards. Stunning views, lots of stairs and a race day elevation gain of 4,400m (4,400m of climb and 4,400m of descent).

Matty Abel
Australia
Blue Mountains
New South Wales
Destinations

Mt Baw Baw Weekend Away

5 of the best trail runs in Mt Baw Baw

Characterised by its snow gum-cloaked sweeping single-track and awe-inspiring views of the Gippsland Valley and backcountry alpine: Mount Baw Baw offers runners, whether novice or backcountry running experts, the chance to experience stunning and unique trail running routes.This 📱means if you're reading this on your mobile device you can click on the title to open the full run details and route map in-app.Day 1 Explore some of the routes closer to home - allowing you to stretch the legs and get your bearings of this small alpine village, whilst leaving enough gas in the tank for the adventures to come. Set off on the Mount Baw Baw 📱trail, a short but sweet 3.7km loop that will take you to the summit of Mt Baw Baw for exceptional views. If you are wanting more, add on the Fitness Tester Route 📱 a 5km loop that will test your downhill capabilities and climbing ability. Finish the day off by heading to the Village Central Restaurant for a drink and some food - fuel for tomorrow's adventure. Day 2After a night's sleep in one of the three places we have recommend you to stay at, day two will see you heading further into the Baw Baw National Park to explore 3 of the park's main peaks. Head off on the 3 Peaks of Mt Baw Baw 📱route, which will traverse the mountainous region taking you to the summits of Mt Baw Baw (1567m), Mt St Phillack (1556m) and Mt St Gwinear (1509m). Finish the day off with a lazy game of Disc Golf or Frisbee Golf - something you probably have never tried before, it’s great fun! Head to the star pin in the app to collect your disc.Day 3Your final day gives you two options, both starting from the village centre and will see you exploring parts of the famous Australian Alpine Walking Track.‍Mushroom Rocks 📱 31km’s of alpine trail (Black Run), heading South East on the Australian Alpine Walking Track to a maze of giant granite tors. Whitelaw Hut Site 📱 21.5km (Red) route that explores the North West section of the Australian Alpine Walking Track, taking you to the site of the old Whitelaw's hut.‍ Eat / Drink / Stay / Play‍ Skali Lodge‍ Wombat Cabin‍ Cascade Apartments‍ Village Central Restaurant‍ Frisbee Golf

Matty Abel
Australia
Victoria
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Sydney's 6 best runs for first time visitors

The best way to explore beautiful Sydney Harbour and stunning coastal paths.

For first time visitors to Sydney, this Collection of six runs has been created to showcase Sydney Harbour and the beautiful coastline. It includes easy ways to see iconic landmarks such as The Opera House, Harbour Bridge and the best paths to explore famous local places and beaches such as Bondi Beach and Manly Beach. These runs are a mix of road, trail and well-trafficked coastal paths. For dozens more runs in Sydney head into the app.This📱means if you're reading this on your mobile device you can click to open the full run details and route map in-app. Run 1‍ Spit to Manly (one way) 📱 Sydney’s famous Spit to Manly can be enjoyed as a one-way run or as an out and back to the length you wish. This run takes you from The Spit Bridge and will take you to Manly Wharf with breathtaking views of Sydney Harbour. (9.6km ; Red Run).Run 2‍Scenic North Head Loop 📱 A favourite for many locals that includes a great mix of road, footpath, and trail. This run will take you up and around North Head and includes stunning views of Sydney Harbour and the city skyline. After heading around North Head you will head down a local favourite training hill, Snake Hill, before crossing Collins Flat Beach and heading back into the Manly. (10km ; Red Run)‍ Run 3 Sydney City Iconic Run‍ 📱 This run travels around some of Sydney's most iconic locations including Mrs. Macquarie's Chair, Sydney Opera House, under the Sydney Harbour Bridge and up to Observatory Hill. It does include some hills and stairs that will test your fitness but are definitely rewarded with great views. (9.1km ; Blue Run)‍Run 4Circular Quay to Manly 📱 This is a long run created to savour great Sydney Harbour views and visit the 'lower north shore' suburbs and many small coves and beaches dotted along the harbour’s north shore. Secluded trail sections to escape into the bush track. Navigates the many dead end roads runners often get frustrated by. (30km ; Blue Run)‍Run 5Rose Bay to Watsons Bay 📱 The south side of Sydney harbour has limited public access to the waterfront. This short interesting section heading north from Rose Bay towards Watsons Bay is a mix of tucked away boardwalks and small beaches giving great views westward down the harbour to the bridge and Opera House. The road section will take you past the driveways of many of Sydney’s great waterfront homes. Finish at Watsons Bay for great mix of food, refreshments and a beach with a view of the harbour. (6.5km ; Green Run)‍ Run 6 Bondi to Coogee Coastal Path 📱This iconic run starts and finishes at Sydney's famous Bondi Beach. You won't be alone on this run, it's hugely popular with the locals. Winding your way past storm blasted sandstone walls you'll make your way from Bondi past the beaches of Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly and onto Coogee with ocean views the entire way Watch the sunrise on an early morning run and enjoy some stairs for a fantastic workout. (13km ; Blue Run).

Henry Talbot
Australia
Sydney
New South Wales