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Level: Advanced
Length: 20 mi (32.2 km)
Surface: 4x4 Trail
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +1,416/1 ft
Total: 4 riders

Mountain Biking Obelisk

⚠ Heads up: Trail access may be temporarily restricted due to COVID-19.
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#140 of 415 mountain bike trails in New Zealand
#10522 in the world

This ride takes you up to the top of the Old Man Range where you enter a world that doesn't seem to belong on this planet. The terrain gets flatter and rounded rather than jagged. Scattered around are other-worldy rock outcrops called tors, including the Obelisk right at the summit. On a fine day it's a magical place but in bad weather it's hell.

There are two routes up to and back from the Obelisk. Both vary from well formed gravel roads to very rough four wheel drive tracks...


Start at Symes Road (12km south of Alexandra) and go down Prospect Hill Track then Fraser Dam Road. For this route you could ride from Alexandra or you could organise a shuttle to eliminate the highway and road riding...


Start and end at the corner of Fraser Dam Road and Omeo Creek Road. You ride up Fraser Dam Road for 2.4km where a DOC sign points you up onto Prospect Hill Track which becomes the Obelisk Range Track. From the Obelisk a DOC sign gets you started down to the Omeo Gully Track. This route climbs steeply and only the very strong and fit will be able to ride all the way. The descent is even steeper and it's rough. Navigation is tricky on this route - you need a topo map or an app like Back Country Navigator. There are GPS traces of both routes on singletracks.

Whichever route you take you are going to climb and then descend an ear popping 1500 metres (5000 feet). It's a challenging undertaking.

Before you go
  • No Drinking water
  • No E-bikes permitted
  • Fat biking allowed in winter
  • No Fee required
  • No Lift service
  • No Night riding allowed
  • No Pump track
  • No Restrooms
Getting there
Easier route: Symes Road Head out of Alexandra towards Roxburgh on highway 8. You'll come to Symes Road on your right after 12km. Harder route: Fraser Dam Road Take Earnscleugh Road (first right across the bridge) for 5km, then turn left into Blackman Road which morphs into Fraser Dam Road. You'll come to the Omeo Creek Road corner after 3.4km.
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Obelisk Trail map

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Trail checkins

SarahHill (Jan 4, 2019)
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Trail conditions

Good (Apr 9, 2017)
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  • Jim Cummings

    I rode the harder route - up Fraser Dam Road and down Omeo Gully - so it was challenging but the weather was fine and clear which made for a magical day - climbing high up into a unique and spectral landscape, followed by a hot-brake descent back to reality.

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