Dunedin Skyline Walk - Cloud Forests of Leith - Track Guide
The Cloud Forests of Leith leads from the head of Sullivans Dam to the powerlines on the ridge overlooking Waitati Valley and Blueskin Bay. This track is suitable for walkers and trampers - if not linking with the Escarpment Track allow 2-3 hours for the return trip (with stops).
The Cloud Forests of Leith Track starts at the northern end of Sullivans Dam. There is car parking available on Leith Valley Road. Follow the formed track around the primeter of the dam (either side) until you reach a small concrete bridge over the water channel. There is a temporary sign here (below) - this is the official start of the track. The DCC sign warns of the hazards you may encounter, but the track is open and available for use.
The Cloud Forests of Leith track is a well constructed and well graded track suitable for all walkers and trampers - strong footwear or tramping boots are recommended, as you will encounter short sections where the track is muddy.
Rather than taking a direct route to the powerlines, the Cloud Forests of Leith track winds its way across several small streams (safe to cross in most conditions) and past notable features and trees.
The track features a unique boardwalk - the lower section has small box boardwalks, and some open top rock boxes. 15 to 20 minutes from Sullivans Dam you will come to Calvert Dam. This creek crossing and small waterfall is named after the main benefactors to the track, the late Dick and Barbara Calvert.
Not far from Calvert Dam is the junction with the Leith Loop lookout track. Beyond the junction the track drops into the creek for the last time, and then climbs and sidles towwards the powerlines that run between Dunedin and twons to the north.
Boardwalking in the upper section changes to a plank design, and the bush canopy reduces, which glimpses of views towards Swampy Summit. The track emerges into a large cleared area where two sets of powerlines run - this is the tranistion point between the Cloud Forests of Leith and the Escarpmant Track. There are good views to the north from here.
Walking options from here include returning down the Cloud Forests of Leith track, continuing to the Escarpment Track, or following a 4WD track under the powerlines towards the city, linking up with forestry road and onto the 3 Peaks Track. The 3 Peaks track can be used to access Cowan Road (about 200m on the Pine Hill side of the cattle stop), or for returning to Sullivans Dam.
Above: The powerlines entry / exit point for the Cloud Forests of Leith track.