The Old Dunstan Trail

It’s the Labour Weekend and a beautiful day. So, we decided to do a spontaneous trip out to the Central Otago.

The Old Dunstan Trail! LOL! Not sure if it’s a smart choice since we only have a Estima Lucida Street 4WD. And, the Old Dunstan Road is strictly a real 4WD track. And, in winter when it is generally closed from around May to September.

The Old Dunstan Trail

The route starts from Dunedin to the Dunstan goldfields from Clarke’s Junction, SH87 (from Dunedin / Mosgiel towards Middlemarch) and comes out at the Paerau; (Styx was the old name of this town). That’s the first part of the Old Dunstan Road.

At the second part of the Old Dunstan Road, we made a slight mistake – we past the intersection and were now heading towards to Patearoa and away from Old Dunstan Road. We realised the mistake but no big deal. We turned around and turn in at Linnburn Runs Road to enter the second part of Old Dunstan Road.

We started the journey at around 1.30pm on Saturday. Stopping multiple times along the trail for photos and checking out the road condition. We arrived in Poolburn Reservoir just around sunset at about 8.30pm – 9pm. So, we camped at the beautiful Poolburn Reservoir for the night. The rock formations here are just crazily amazing.

Poolburn Reservoir

The ride was overall rugged but with stunning scenery. It is just impressive!

We had a few adventure going through mud puddle, stream, up hill, down hill and really bad road condition. Was worried that our Estima won’t even make it. But, it did!

What a Ride!

However, we give the side trip to the Serpentine area a miss because of the distance and wasn’t sure if our car would make it. Maybe, there will be a next time.


Brief History Lesson

The Old Dunstan Trail was originally used by gold miners seeking the GOLD & Richness of the Dunstan gold diggings in the 1860’s. Known as the ‘Mountain Track’ it was said to be the most dangerous way to the possible riches of the interior, with many a gold seeker falling by the wayside in treacherous conditions.

Read more here:

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