When driving from the West Coast to Queenstown I had wanted to stop off and do a short walk to stretch my legs, and the Blue Pools Walk fit the bill. It’s a stroll through mainly beech forest to a couple of swing bridges, the second of which provides views up a gorge filled with blue-green coloured water. These are the so called Blue Pools, although it’s really Blue River, a tributary of the Makarora River. You can drop down to the river bed at the confluence of the two rivers for a different perspective.
It’s very picturesque but I wouldn’t go out of your way to see these because they are not close to anywhere (Wanaka is the nearest proper town) – just if you are passing through. Track notes at the end.
Back a few kilometres towards the West Coast are Fantail Falls, and there’s a very short 2 minute walk to see these. I’ve included a few pictures since you may as well stop to have a look if you are in the area.
Blue Pools Walk: The Scenery
Fantail Falls are a few kilometres down the highway. Just a two minute walk to see these.
As noted in the picture caption above, an older route seems to have been replaced by a newer longer route. The car park was really obvious from the road however, and the track also obvious, so no problem finding or following this 3km return route. There’s more information on the DOC website.
The car park for Fantail Falls is located in the Google map below…