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”
The Sawpit Gully Circuit is a pleasant enough walk in the hills behind Arrowtown, which is itself a very pleasant historic town.
The Sawpit Gully Circuit starts in Arrowtown’s historic Chinese gold mining settlement next to the Arrow River. If you walk it clockwise the track climbs into the surrounding hills and returns through the Sawpit Gully and Arrow River Gorge. It’s a nice enough walk, but with some really spectacular walks in the area it has some steep competition. We’ve done it three times so far and it’s been a good choice for a not too strenuous walk close to Queenstown, and you can hang out in the picturesque village of Arrowtown afterwards. Probably shouldn’t be first on your list if you are new to the area. Continue reading “Sawpit Gully Circuit, Arrowtown NZ”
A walk through beech forest to the tree-line at Wye Creek in the Remarkables Conservation Area. There are 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. Continue reading “Lower Wye Creek Track, Remarkables Conservation Area NZ”
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 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”
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”