A long hard walk up 1600m of elevation to reach the barren plateau on top of the Pisa Range, finishing at the summit of Mt Pisa (1963m).
The ascent of Mt Pisa is a pretty gruelling slog up 1600m of elevation over 12.5 km, but the otherworldly moonscape on top is impressive and worth the effort. Most of the climb is through farmland on a vehicle track, and when we did it there was a lot of animal dung around, so it wasn’t the most pleasant experience. Once out of the farmland and into the Pisa Conservation Area the terrain changes to a barren and rocky moonscape, and when on the plateau there’s a further 2km of mostly flat walking to rocks on the summit at 1963m of elevation. Continue reading “Mt Pisa via Tinwald Burn Ridge Track, Central Otago NZ”
A walk through beech forest to the tree-line at Wye Creek in the Remarkables Conservation Area. There views further up the creek and over Lake Wakatipu.
Lower Wye Creek is the forested section of a potentially much longer walk in the Remarkables Conservation Area. Ending the walk just above the tree line makes it a satisfying finish with views up the creek to high ground, and of rugged crags immediately above the creek. Picking your way very carefully between lethal spear grass you can climb up the steep slopes from the creek to get more (partial) views of Lake Wakatipu.
A pretty straightforward walk described on the DOC website.
Although there’s no track, you can continue up the creek to Lake Alta and the Remarkables ski fields, although I’d say most people would do it downhill as a day walk. We’ve not done this yet because of transport logistics.
My pictures are almost all from the turnaround point just above the tree line, and so are a little misleading as the walk is mostly through beech forest.
January 1st 2016
December 31st 2012
A few photos from three years earlier when the weather was a lot cooler, despite it being mid summer…
A short but steep walk up the side of a mountain for views over the village of Kingston at the southern end of Lake Wakatipu. The Te Kere Haka Track is an alternative flat option along the lake foreshore.
The small town of Kingston sits at the southern end of Lake Wakatipu, and is a pretty low key place without the tourist scene around Queenstown. The short but steep Shirt Tail Track is one way to get above the town and enjoy the scenery if you are in the area, and the drive down from Queenstown is also nice.
The Te Kere Haka track is another flat option that runs alongside the foreshore of Lake Wakatipu; we did a bit of this but I don’t think we had time to make it to the end. Both walks are nice enough, but there’s much more specular scenery around Queenstown, and at the northern end of the lake around Glenorchy. Continue reading “Shirt Tail Track, Kingston 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.
The Gibbston River Trail is a constructed and mostly flat track that runs through the picturesque Gibbston Valley wine region next to the Kawarau River. It can be walked or mountain-biked.
The Gibbston River Trail runs through the picturesque Gibbston Valley wine region next to the Kawarau River. It’s a mostly flat gravel track that can be walked or mountain-biked, and to be honest biking it would probably be more enjoyable.
It offers nice views of the river in certain spots, which in sunny weather is an intense aqua colour as my pictures demonstrate. But the rest of the time it meanders through somewhat uninspiring vegetation that offers no protection from the sun, and so was a bit of a slog for us in summer. I recommend walking it in sunny winter weather. (In overcast weather the river won’t be such a nice colour.) Continue reading “Gibbston River Trail, Otago 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”
A straightforward walk on the foothills of Mt Crichton near Queenstown. The track passes through native beech and manuka forest, and visits a historic miner’s hut.
The Mt Crichton Loop Track is an undulating track on the foothills of Mt Crichton. It passes through native beech and manuka forest, by waterfalls and bare rocky hills, and visits a historic miner’s hut. You can also take a side trip to nearby Lake Dispute. It’s all very close to Queenstown, so it makes for a good half day option if you have other things on. Continue reading “Mt Crichton Loop Track & Lake Dispute, near Queenstown NZ”
Mt Alfred sits alone on the edge of Mt Aspiring National Park, and the summit provides some of my favourite views in New Zealand.
Mt Alfred stands alone in one of the most picturesque spots in New Zealand. The summit provides some of the finest views in the country, with archetypal scenery north into Mt Aspiring National Park, and south over Lake Wakatipu. The Dart River runs from the former into the latter, and adds to the already starkly contrasting colours. Continue reading “Mt Alfred ascent, near Glenorchy NZ”