Lake Alta
Posted by pdittman on December 2nd, 2019 in '19 - New Zealand, Hiking/Trekking, Vacations

This began our fifth full day in New Zealand. We’d had three solid days of trekking, on the Ben Lomond, Roy’s Peak, and Routeburn tracks, each with some fairly significant mileage and elevation gain, followed by a full “zero” day, where we enjoyed some local vineyards and a touristy visit to Arrowtown.

We were looking for a bit easier day – not quite a “zero”, but something without the bigger elevation and mileage numbers.  Lake Alta sounded like a perfect fit – near Queenstown, in the Remarkables range, and a relatively short 2.5 mile round-trip hike/walk.

The weather was again in our favor – low-60’s – which was great. Despite the short distance, this turned out to be not a typical hike – marked trailhead and all. The first clue was the drive itself.  Once we turned off the main road and headed toward the Remarkables ski area – the road narrowed and quickly gained altitude.  And that meant switchbacks, LOTS of them – oh, and driving on the left side of the road, and an apparent lack of guard rails.   It was unsettling, but ok, we got there.      

Ski areas in the off-season alway have a look of casual dis-repair and borderline neglect. We see it in New Hampsire, we saw it in Gourette France, and we saw it here again. But that was good because there weren’t any people.

This really wasn’t much of a hike – more like a trek through some ski terrain, but the views and images were amazing. From a view-per-effort perspective, this was really a great hike. Check it out:

Yes, that’s snow in December in New Zealand!

Yes, a super-short hike, but some beautiful scenery!

Definitely worth the trip to see such terrain and views, especially in contrast to what we’d seen at Ben Lomond and Roy’s Peak!


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