The Walks/Blog

Clarke Gorge Track, Kosciuszko NP NSW

Pretty spectacular walking through Clarke Gorge in the northern section of Kosciuszko National Park (…but be prepared for wet feet).

I’d seen pictures of Clarke Gorge on the internet, and this alone convinced me I should visit the less trendy northern end of Kosciuszko National Park (less trendy because of the generally lower elevation). It’s a very narrow gorge lined by sheer sided cliffs, and the walk through it to Cave Creek Falls must be one of the best in the park. There were brumbies (wild horses) galore in the area, and although they are non-natives, they are nevertheless charming animals that are generally quite comfortable with humans.

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Blowering Cliffs Track, Kosciuszko NP, NSW

There are waterfall, cliff and lake views on this shortish walk in Kosciuszko National Park near Tumut.

We managed to fit this 5km walk into the afternoon when we arrived in Tumut, ready for a few days bushwalking at the northern end of Kosciusko National Park. There’s a short climb through forest to Blowering Cliffs and Blowering Falls, and if you climb up just a little further through the cliffs from the turnaround point, you are rewarded with unimpeded views of Blowering Reservoir and surrounding hills. This last bit is quite steep and requires a scramble. Continue reading “Blowering Cliffs Track, Kosciuszko NP, NSW”

Garrawarra Farm car park to Garie North Head, Royal NP, Sydney

Great coastal views for almost the whole length of this walk, taking in a section of the famous Coast Track, in the Royal National Park south of Sydney.

There are a number of walking options in the Royal National Park that take in a section of the classic 30km Coast Track. One good option is to start at the Garrawarra Farm car park on top of the escarpment, walk east down Burgh Ridge towards the sea, then walk north as far as Garie North Head for excellent views back down the coast. And in the summer holidays Garie Beach is patrolled so you can safely have a swim before heading back. Continue reading “Garrawarra Farm car park to Garie North Head, Royal NP, Sydney”

Wentworth Falls via National Pass, Blue Mountains NP, NSW

Get up close and personal with cliffs and waterfalls on a spectacular walk to Wentworth Falls in the Upper Blue Mountains.

This walk to Wentworth Falls is one of my favourites in the Blue Mountains, with numerous cliffs and waterfalls up close and personal. The proximity of the scenery makes it quite spectacular, but rather hard to photograph. Nevertheless, you’ll hopefully get a reasonable impression from the photos that follow. One of the classics in the region. Continue reading “Wentworth Falls via National Pass, Blue Mountains NP, NSW”

Lake Alta – Shadow Basin Lookout Circuit, The Remarkables, Queenstown NZ

A circuit walk high up in the Remarkables taking in Lake Alta and Shadow Basin Lookout. Alpine scenes and spectacular views abound!

It’s a straightforward walk up to beautiful Lake Alta from the Remarkables ski field car park. And another short option is to climb to wide open views of Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown from Shadow Basin Lookout. If you are willing to do some boulder hopping and navigate one steep section, then you can combine the two into a circuit. You’d be hard pressed to get so much alpine scenery and epic views from any comparably sized walk in NZ.

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Sawyer Burn Hut Track, Hawea Conservation Park, Otago NZ

Great views of lake Hawea and surrounding peaks on this walk starting at Kidds Bush campground, not too far from Wanaka.

Although a very nice walk, this hike to Sawyer Burn Hut was most memorable for the chance encounter with a completely nude hiker. (Well, he was wearing hiking boots). Alas, it was a somewhat portly middle aged man, but he did make quite an impression. Presuming you won’t meet any such person, you can instead expect to remember nice beech forest, great views of lake Hawea, and views of high peaks towards the end of the track. Continue reading “Sawyer Burn Hut Track, Hawea Conservation Park, Otago NZ”

Sunshine Bay Track, Queenstown NZ

A short walk along the foreshore of Lake Wakatipu, starting in Queenstown.

A short walk/stroll along the foreshore of Lake Wakatipu, starting in Queenstown. It was a bit overcast and so drab on the day we did this, but there are classic views of the Remarkables and Cecil Peak along the way. And it’s almost flat, so one for the less energetic, or when you just want to stretch your legs after lunch in town. Continue reading “Sunshine Bay Track, Queenstown NZ”

Kelvin Peninsula Walk, near Queenstown, NZ

This easy walk around Kelvin Peninsula is a short drive from Queenstown, and provides views of the area’s most iconic landmarks.

This relatively easy walk around the Kelvin Peninsula provides grandstand views of Lake Wakatipu, various peaks over the water, of Queenstown and Ben Lomond, and also the Remarkables. If golf is more your thing then the peninsula has a very picturesque golf course. Continue reading “Kelvin Peninsula Walk, near Queenstown, NZ”

Mt Dewar/Devils Creek Track, Central Otago NZ

A walk in the tussock grassed country behind Queenstown, with views over the Skippers backcountry and back to the Remarkables.

A nice walk in the hills/mountains behind Queenstown, not far from the Coronet Peak ski field, although the overcast conditions let the scenery down a bit for the photos that follow. 2023 edit: I’ve added some photos from as far as Mt Dewar with much better lighting.

You ascend maybe 350m to the summit of Mt Dewar (1310m), then descend to Devils Creek, and return via a saddle and then the road. About 700m of ascent/descent. The country appears to be at the transition between the pointy Southern Alps, and domed mountains of the Central Otago interior. Mostly tussock grass with some rocky areas, and you can visit the upper Shotover River, although we didn’t have the time or legs for this on the day we did it. Continue reading “Mt Dewar/Devils Creek Track, Central Otago NZ”

Hawkdun Range ascent (point 1857m), Maniototo, Central Otago NZ

An excellent walk through tussock grass to the barren summit plateau of the Hawkdun Range (point 1857m), in the remote Maniototo region of Central Otago.

An excellent walk to the top of the Hawkdun Range (1857m) in the remote Maniototo region of Central Otago, famous for its isolated vistas of golden tussock grass and mountains. The walk starts in the Manuherikia Valley, and after a flat start rises steeply up to the long and barren summit plateau of the Hawkdun Range: about 1100m of ascent and descent. Not as dramatic as the Southern Alps, but very atmospheric, and we had the place to ourselves.  Continue reading “Hawkdun Range ascent (point 1857m), Maniototo, Central Otago NZ”