South Island Hiking

These are some of the walks that I did while in New Zealand. All of these were ones I did in the South Island. I did a few hikes on the North Island but none compared to the ones I did on the South Island. That is not to say there are no good ones in the North Island, I just did not do many walks in the North Island, even though I know there are some good ones. I have gone through and ranked them in various categories for how they felt for me.

Difficulty:

T8: Queenstown Hill (Nice zig-zag trail that went up gradually and wasn’t too hard)

T8: Mount Crichton (Not a very long hike and did not have any quick changes in elevation)

7: Rob Roy Glacier Trek (Has a few spots that are decently steep but not for too long and I didn’t notice it too much because I was too busy looking around at the scenery)

6: Routeburn Track (The start was very flat and then for the last hour it was pretty much all uphill)

5: Ben Lomond (This was the first big hike I did in New Zealand so I think that contributed to how hard it felt. It was also a full day hike and the top bit from the saddle up was pretty tough)

4: Cameron Hut (Some pretty sketchy sections as well as not the best trail added to the difficulty of the multiple changes in elevation. Having packs on, loaded for an overnight stay, added weight and an extra obstacle in some occasions to the equation as well)

3: Roy’s Peak (This hike was all up-hill, looking at the same thing pretty much the entire time so you couldn’t get lost in the scenery as much. It also took us all day because we walked from Wanaka and then back after as well)

2: Breast Hill (This one had almost everything. There were points we basically had to crawl up. Other parts were steep for long periods of time. There was wind added to the factor at the top as well as lots of cliff faces that you don’t come back from if you decide to ride them down)

1: Mount Isthmus (This one was hard for a few reasons. One: that you looked at the same thing for the majority of the hike. Two: it had some very steep parts, pretty much the whole thing is up-hill. Three: we ran into snow at the top. Four: we did not know where the top was so we were tricked a few times which really messed with our heads and made it harder than it was)

 

Views:

9: Queenstown Hill (Overlooking Queenstown and Lake Wakitipu)

8: Mount Crichton (Had a waterfall and a nice view out into a small valley)

7: Roy’s Peak (Overlooking Lake Wanaka, Wanaka, and a decent 30 degree view)

6: Ben Lomond (Pretty outstanding 360 degree view of pretty much just nature)

5: Mount Isthmus (360 degree view overlooking Lake Wanaka as well as Lake Hawea)

4: Cameron Hut (A view from the bottom of a valley surrounded by mountains with a river running behind the hut and a waterfall just 2 min walk away)

3: Breast Hill (360 degree view of Lake Hawea as well as some absolutely amazing cliff faces)

2: Routeburn Track – (At the Routeburn Falls Hut there was an awesome set of waterfalls as well as a really good view over the valley you just walked along)

1: Rob Roy Glacier Trek (Constantly changing views with an amazing view of a glacier at the end. I did this hike once in the rain and twice on sunny days, never disappointed)

 

Favourite:

9: Queenstown Hill – Really easy with a nice view over Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu

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8: Mount Crichton – Has a waterfall and cool gold mining hut. It is away from the city.

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7: Roy’s Peak – View is the same all the way up, looking at Lake Wanaka. The view from the top is decent though.

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6: Mount Isthmus – This one was hard but the view all the way up and at the top was awesome.

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5: Ben Lomond – I would do this one again. The whole way up you have really nice views into the valley and up to the peak of the mountain.

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4: Cameron Hut – The walk to the hut was really cool but also pretty sketchy at points. There were quite a few small river crossings and one big river crossing. The big one was up to my knees on the way in and then on the way out it was nearly up to my waist. There were a couple of spots that rock slides had happened at one point that we had to walk across. The actual trail itself had lots of ups and downs and lots of it was on ledges, rather than a nice flat wide path. The hut was small and had four bunks with a counter, a fire-place, and even had a few wires and strings set up as clothes lines. The hut was right beside a river and when you walked out the door you looked up at a waterfall. This was the first time I had stayed at a hut.

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3: Breast Hill – Like I said this was a really tough climb but the views were really good. It has probably the best cliffs I have seen on any hike.

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2: Routeburn Track – This one had a nice easy start to it to get you warmed up, then the last hour is a pretty aggressive uphill to the Routeburn Falls Hut. The view was ever-changing and you went through quite a few different landscapes. The view from the top was amazing. From the hut, looking out over the valley we just walked through was awesome as were the waterfalls just above the hut.

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1: Rob Roy Glacier Trek Rain/Rob Roy Glacier Trek 2 – This track is a nice one that anyone can do. It has some challenging bits but nothing too crazy. Getting to walk through a forest for most of it is really cool and the glacier at the end looks awesome.

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Honourable Mentions:

Upper Clutha River (near Wanaka) – The walk from Wanaka, along the east side of the lake and along the river is very pretty. Once you get to Albert Town it is not very exciting as you just walk along streets back to Wanaka.

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Glendhu Bay (almost) – It was a really nice walk along Lake Wanaka. It was harder than the east side of the lake but still very doable. The bay before the actual Glendhu Bay is very peaceful and pretty. It has a cool cabin, which was locked, and an old outdoor kitchen area. It had kind of an eerie feel about it but was a neat find.

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Dublin Bay – Really easy walk, hardly any hills. You can get down by the water in some areas although there isn’t really a track once down there. The river’s edge is really mossy and squishy, my feet got wet. I seen two people and a dog, don’t think it is a very popular walk.

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Hope you enjoyed my little recap. Until the next adventure comes calling for me, Stay Positive, Be Better, and Go Get It!

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