The Walks/Blog

Ben Lomond Track, Queenstown NZ

Climbing Ben Lomond (1748m) is a must do for any reasonably fit hiker visiting Queenstown. The route we take to the top starts on the edge of town, and at first passes through beech forest, then pine forest, and once above the treeline it’s tussock grass until the summit, where there are 360 degree views of the Southern Alps, the Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu.

Standing on the summit of Ben Lomond on a clear enough day, you can blindly point your camera in any direction and come away with an epic landscape shot. There are 360 degree views of the Southern Alps, Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables, and depending on the weather conditions these views might look very different, as the photos that follow will demonstrate. Continue reading “Ben Lomond Track, Queenstown NZ”

Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ

The route to the summit of Mt Rosa (1324m) starts in thorny weeds, but soon moves into tussock grass and before long there are views over the Gibbston Valley wine region, the Horn and Carrick Ranges, and eventually over to the Remarkables Conservation Area. Good for cooler weather because there’s no shade for the whole length of the walk.

The walk up Mt Rosa (1324m) from Victoria Flats was another lesser known walk to exceed expectations. It is so unknown that we didn’t come across a single other walker on two occasions. The wide track at first passes through thorny bushes, but before long these are left behind as it enters quintessential Central Otago high country; basically tussock grass. Eventually there are views of the Gibbston Valley wine region, and surrounding mountain ranges such as the Horn Range, Carrick Range, and the Remarkables Conservation Area. Continue reading “Mt Rosa Track, Central Otago NZ”

Sugarloaf Pass to Point 1290m, Mt Aspiring NP, NZ

Really spectacular views of mountains and valleys on this lesser known walk in Mt Aspiring National Park, including a nice side angle of Mt Earnslaw at 2830m of elevation.

We did this walk for the first time on about our seventh trip to New Zealand, and I can’t understand how it had remained under our radar for so long. After a moderate amount of time in very atmospheric beech forest, the walk emerges above the tree line to a saddle for the first views of mountains and valleys in Mt Aspiring National Park. But the views get really spectacular when you take a right turn off-track up to point 1290m. There are views of rugged mountains in various directions, including a great angle on Mt Earnslaw, which peaks at 2890m of elevation. (Mind you, the impressive Earnslaw Glacier is on the other side of the mountain; you can visit this in a really gruelling day walk that we did a year or so earlier).

There’s about 800m change in elevation on this walk. We also did this walk in winter 2019, when the scenery was even more spectacular, and also my photography was a bit better: click here to see those photos. Continue reading “Sugarloaf Pass to Point 1290m, Mt Aspiring NP, NZ”

Lindis Peak Track, Central Otago NZ

Climbing Lindis Peak (1226m) in Central Otago is a lesser known up and down walk with 360 degree views of the area, including the distinctive St Bathans Range, and distant snowy peaks of the Main Divide.

Sophia and I had driven through the Lindis Valley on our way to Mt Cook at Christmas time in 2015. After doing most of the regular day walks around Queenstown, I decided to drive out this way again in winter 2016 for the walk up Lindis Peak, and it did not disappoint. There are 360 degree views of the surrounding Central Otago countryside, (and over the border into Canterbury), including the impressive St Bathans Range, and distant snowy peaks of the Southern Alps. Continue reading “Lindis Peak Track, Central Otago NZ”

11km Walking Track, Dharug National Park near Wisemans Ferry, NSW

Attractive forest scenery on this walk in Dharug National Park near Wisemans Ferry.

Not really a views walk, the descriptively named 11km Walking Track in Dharug National Park near Wisemans Ferry offers a variety of attractive forest scenery instead. There’s tall trees, big grass trees, nice banksia flowers, and lush forest at the end of the walk. The picture below is quite a nice view but is in fact from the drive in. You cross over the Hawkesbury River (from Sydney) on the vehicle ferry to get to the start this circuit walk.  Continue reading “11km Walking Track, Dharug National Park near Wisemans Ferry, NSW”

Cape Bailey Circuit, Kamay Botany Bay National Park, Sydney

This partial circuit walk to Cape Bailey passes along coastal cliffs and through heathland. It starts near Kurnell in Sydney’s south, at the south-eastern tip of historic Botany Bay.

This Cape Bailey Circuit walk in Kamay Botany Bay National Park is an alternative to the coastal walks in the nearby Royal National Park. Like some sections of the RNP Coast Track, it passes mostly through heathland and along impressive cliff edges. You won’t feel quite as remote on this walk as there is an old oil refinery (now fuel import facility) that is still (barely) visible from some spots, but it’s a pretty good option for a walk well inside the city boundary. And this area is a good spot for whale watching when in season. Continue reading “Cape Bailey Circuit, Kamay Botany Bay National Park, Sydney”

Buddong Falls Track, Kosciuszko NP NSW

Views of the pretty spectacular Buddong Falls on this slightly out of the way but short walk near Talbingo in Kosciuszko National Park.

This short but steep-ish walk to Buddong Falls exceeded expectations, mainly because the falls were more spectacular than I’d expected them to be. I’d never heard of them until I scoured the internet looking for walks around Talbingo that we could fit into the late afternoon.  It’s a longish drive on an unsealed road to get there, but there are quite nice views along the route which add to the experience. The upper falls are good but it’s the lower falls which make the big impression. They are 60m high but only the top half can be easily photographed.  Continue reading “Buddong Falls Track, Kosciuszko NP NSW”

Old Mountain Road Track, Kosciuszko NP NSW

A shortish but steep walk up a historic disused road in Kosciuszko NP near Talbingo. There are partial views near the end of high peaks in the Bogong Peaks Wilderness Area.

The Old Mountain Road walking track is a straightforward walk along a historic (unsealed) road, built in 1860 during a gold rush. There are remnants of poles and wires along the route, and views of the Bogong Peaks Wilderness Area from near the end. It’s a steep 4km ascent from Jounama Creek Campground to the turnaround point at the Snowy Mountains Highway, and you can do the Jounama Creek Track from the same starting point.  There are track notes on the NPWS website, and in this NPWS brochure, which describes the walk as a one way descent from the top. Continue reading “Old Mountain Road Track, Kosciuszko NP NSW”

Jounama Creek Track, Kosciuszko NP NSW

An easy walk up the picturesque Jounama Creek in Kosciuszko National Park near Talbingo. Ends at a swimming hole and some big rocks.

A fairly easy walk up the picturesque Jounama Creek as far as some big rocks and a swimming hole. We did the Old Mountain Road Track from the same starting point at Jounama Creek Campground near Talbingo, at the northern end of Kosciuszko National Park.  Continue reading “Jounama Creek Track, Kosciuszko NP NSW”

Nichols Gorge Track, Kosciuszko NP NSW

A very atmospheric walk through Nichols Gorge in Kosciuszko National Park. The gorge is lined by large rocky crags, and then the track emerges from the gorge onto wide treeless plains.

The attractive Nichols Gorge Track branches off from the common start with the Clarke Gorge Track, near the camping area at Blue Waterholes. Not quite as spectacular as the narrow and shear sided Clarke Gorge, Nichols Gorge is nevertheless very atmospheric, and has the added advantage of being a circuit walk, (and you won’t get wet feet). It feels a bit more remote than it is (which I like), and opens out onto a wide treeless plain in the latter half. Continue reading “Nichols Gorge Track, Kosciuszko NP NSW”