Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki, Bendigo Conservation Area, Central Otago NZ

Central Otago at its finest on the Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki (1309m). Arid, rocky landscapes including the deeply cut Devils Creek as a highlight.

Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki, Bendigo Conservation Area

Many day-walks in Central Otago are let down somewhat by a long walk in weedy farmland to get to a conservation area, and then before you know it, it’s time to return. On paper the walk up Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki (1309m) is just this kind of walk, although I thought the topography of Devils Creek held some promise. Well, I ended up enjoying this walk from start to finish. In perfect mid-autumn conditions the colours were just lovely, including the weeds, and the rocky slopes of the Dunstan Range were otherworldy. But it was Devils Creek itself that stole the show – a fabulously deep cut, arid and rocky valley that I think earns its devilish name. You also get views back towards Lake Dunstan and the 1963m Pisa Range.

The walk is entirely on an old vehicle track – another quality that I usually dislike in my walks – but on this occasion I was grateful for, as I had recently broken a couple of ribs. And there are plenty of rocks to climb along the way to take your photos from.

The walk starts near Cromwell on Highway 8 next to Lake Dunstan. Track notes at the end.

Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki: The Scenery

Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki, Bendigo Conservation Area
Very near the start looking up Devils Creek.

Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki, Bendigo Conservation Area

Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki, Bendigo Conservation Area
Contrast between different sections of land.
Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki, Bendigo Conservation Area
Nice colours here. I think the valley at the back is Quartz Reef Creek.
Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki, Bendigo Conservation Area
The track winds its way up on the left.

Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki, Bendigo Conservation Area Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki, Bendigo Conservation Area

Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki, Bendigo Conservation Area
Sophia enjoying the views up Devils Creek.
Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki, Bendigo Conservation Area
The best bit of Devils Creek (for me).

Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki, Bendigo Conservation Area

Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki, Bendigo Conservation Area
Hazy atmospheric scenes for most of the day.
Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki, Bendigo Conservation Area
The 1963m Pisa Range at back.
Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki, Bendigo Conservation Area
We are climbing towards the summit here.
Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki, Bendigo Conservation Area
A goat and the St Bathans Range at back. Extra ‘deep blue’ added to this shot to bring out the mountains as it was a bit hazy. This shot from near the summit of Mt Kinaki (1303m).
Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki, Bendigo Conservation Area
There were interesting lines in the red section, possibly a multitude of animal tracks.

Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki, Bendigo Conservation Area

Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki, Bendigo Conservation Area
You can see the Remarkables in this shot, at the back to the right.
Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki, Bendigo Conservation Area
You can just see Sophia down there, adding a bit of scale.

Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki, Bendigo Conservation Area

Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki, Bendigo Conservation Area
My favourite bit again, this time in the afternoon light.

Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki, Bendigo Conservation Area

Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki, Bendigo Conservation Area
Loved the colours and textures in this scene.

Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki, Bendigo Conservation Area

Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki, Bendigo Conservation Area
Looking back at Devils Creek in afternoon light.
Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki, Bendigo Conservation Area
Soft lighting as we neared the end of the walk. Lake Dunstan here.

Track Notes

Devils Creek Track to Mt Kinaki, Bendigo Conservation Area
On an old vehicle track the whole way. This becomes less distinct in the conservation area, which is where there is no track marked on the topo map (starting near point 1035m).

Walking as far as Mt Kinaki is a fairly easygoing 18km walk with 1100m change in elevation, entirely along an old vehicle track. This track is less distinct in the Bendigo Conservation Area, which starts near point 1035m. The vegetation looks quite similar to what you have been walking through. 

We stopped at the summit, but next time I might walk on a bit to see more interesting topography where Devils Creek bends around to the south. 

More info on the DOC website.

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

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