Mt Crichton Loop Track & Lake Dispute, near Queenstown 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.

Mt Crichton Loop & Lake Dispute, near Queenstown

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. 

Track Notes

There are track notes for the Crichton Loop Track on the DOC website here, and it’s a pretty straightforward walk on a formed track. The turn off to nearby Lake Dispute is obvious, and we actually walked as far as Moke Lake, but this was overkill. I think descending to Lake Dispute and walking up or down it would be enough as a side trip. At the easy end of moderate.

Mt Crichton Loop Track & Lake Dispute: The Scenery

I’ve mixed in pics from a clear day in 2015, with those from a cloudy day in 2012 when we did the Lake Dispute side trip (and on to Moke Lake, which is not pictured).

Mt Crichton Loop & Lake Dispute, near Queenstown
Manuka bushes beside the track.
Mt Crichton Loop & Lake Dispute, near Queenstown
Manuka flowers. Where all that expensive honey comes from.
Mt Crichton Loop & Lake Dispute, near Queenstown
The bushes looked burnt, but I think this was natural.
Mt Crichton Loop & Lake Dispute, near Queenstown
A nice waterfall along the way.

Mt Crichton Loop & Lake Dispute, near Queenstown

Mt Crichton Loop & Lake Dispute, near Queenstown
Lupins are beautiful weeds.
Mt Crichton Loop & Lake Dispute, near Queenstown
Mt Crichton up there.
Mt Crichton Loop & Lake Dispute, near Queenstown
Looking up to a slightly over-exposed Mt Crichton.
Mt Crichton Loop & Lake Dispute, near Queenstown
This unusual tree is a juvenile that transforms into a rather more conventional tree in maturity. I vaguely remember that this form is an evolved defence against being eaten by New Zealand’s now extinct Moa.
Mt Crichton Loop & Lake Dispute, near Queenstown
The historic Sam Summers’ Hut.
Mt Crichton Loop & Lake Dispute, near Queenstown
Inside Sam Summers’ Hut.
Mt Crichton Loop & Lake Dispute, near Queenstown
I think these bare hillsides were once quarried.
Mt Crichton Loop & Lake Dispute, near Queenstown
Bare hillsides.
Mt Crichton Loop & Lake Dispute, near Queenstown
Steep forested hillsides.
Mt Crichton Loop & Lake Dispute, near Queenstown
Descending to Lake Dispute.
Mt Crichton Loop & Lake Dispute, near Queenstown
Descending to Lake Dispute (on the left) with Lake Wakatipu centre.
Mt Crichton Loop & Lake Dispute, near Queenstown
Returning from Moke Lake. Lake Dispute ahead. You ascend back up to the Mt Crichton Loop Track on the right.
Mt Crichton Loop & Lake Dispute, near Queenstown
Down by Lake Wakatipu after the walk. This is not on the track, but nearby.

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

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