Roys Peak Track, Wanaka NZ

Fabulous views over Lake Wanaka are a highlight of this walk up Roys Peak. Just expect to be joined by a few hundred others in peak season!

Roys Peak has become a favourite destination for Instagrammers, attracted by the prospect of epic views over Lake Wanaka. The views are really excellent, but as a hike it can be lack lustre, as at least half of it is through unattractive pasture, and it’s along a vehicle trail the whole way. Still, on a clear day it’s worth joining the crowds of walkers making their way either to the summit, or else to that particular spot about two thirds of the way up where you get a picture of yourself or your friend backed by the best bit of Lake Wanaka.  Continue reading “Roys Peak Track, Wanaka NZ”

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”

Rocky Mountain-Diamond Lake Circuit, near Wanaka, NZ

An easy to moderate walk passing by the picturesque Diamond Lake, and climbing up to the summit of Rocky Mountain (775m) for views of Lake Wanaka.

This walk near Wanaka offers good views for only mild to moderate effort. It’s an easygoing alternative to the famous but much longer Roys Peak Track that starts down the road a bit closer to town. You can do a figure of eight taking in the picturesque Diamond Lake, and then climb higher to the summit of Rocky Mountain (775m) for views over Lake Wanaka and towards snow capped mountains to the north. My wife did this walk in winter with her sister and the views were even better. Continue reading “Rocky Mountain-Diamond Lake Circuit, near Wanaka, NZ”

Camerons Flat to Glacier Burn, East Matukituki Valley, near Wanaka NZ

The walk from Cameron’s Flat to the Glacier Burn crosses pasture and then enters beech forest, eventually stopping at the burn (stream) with views of Avalanche Glacier.

The East Matukituki Valley is about an hour’s drive from Wanaka, and is less well known than its neighbour, the West Matukituki Valley. The initial walk from Cameron’s Flat crosses featureless farmland, and doing this in full sun definitely took the gloss off this walk. Nevertheless, the views of the surrounding mountains are lovely, and the short section in beech forest to Glacier Burn is very picturesque. The views from the burn of Avalanche Glacier provide the money shot.

I think this is a walk to do only after you’ve done nearby alternatives like the Rob Roy Glacier Walk, (which I haven’t posted on yet – its coming up).

There are brief track notes and a map on the DOC website.

Cameron Flat to Glacier Burn, East Matukituki Valley
The start of the walk in the West Matukituki Valley.

Cameron Flat to Glacier Burn, East Matukituki Valley

Cameron Flat to Glacier Burn, East Matukituki Valley
Near the start of the walk.
Cameron Flat to Glacier Burn, East Matukituki Valley
The farmland we had to walk through.

Cameron Flat to Glacier Burn, East Matukituki Valley Cameron Flat to Glacier Burn, East Matukituki Valley

Cameron Flat to Glacier Burn, East Matukituki Valley
Pasture eventually gives way to national park.
Cameron Flat to Glacier Burn, East Matukituki Valley
Sophia almost trod on this baby bird, which sadly looked to have been separated from its mother.
Cameron Flat to Glacier Burn, East Matukituki Valley
I think it was asking for food. We gave it a little banana but I fear this poor soul was doomed.
Cameron Flat to Glacier Burn, East Matukituki Valley
Approaching our turnaround point.
Cameron Flat to Glacier Burn, East Matukituki Valley
The Glacier Burn is the end of the track.
Cameron Flat to Glacier Burn, East Matukituki Valley
The Avalanche Glacier
Cameron Flat to Glacier Burn, East Matukituki Valley
The Avalanche Glacier
Cameron Flat to Glacier Burn, East Matukituki Valley
I took a picture of what I think are buttercups (for nostalgic purposes – I don’t think I’ve seen any in decades), and it came out rather interesting due to over exposure or some other such trickery of light.

Brewster Hut Track (and ridge below Mt Armstrong), Westland NZ

After a long climb through attractive beech forest you’ll be rewarded with classic South Island views of high mountains, including Mt Brewster & its glacier. Continue upwards from Brewster Hut towards Mt Armstrong for even more views.

This is definitely one of my favourite walks. Starting at the frigidly beautiful Haast River, the track climbs steeply through attractive beech forest to the tree line. It then climbs onto a narrow ridge and up further to Brewster Hut at 1400m of elevation. There are views of many high mountains to the west, and up towards Mt Brewster (2516m) and its glacier. Continue reading “Brewster Hut Track (and ridge below Mt Armstrong), Westland NZ”