Wanaka to Queenstown: Tricks and Tips
Wanaka to Queenstown…
*First tip if you go SoBo: Slow down, you are too close to the end to keep your 25/35km per day habit… trip to forbid you not to do more than 20km per day… but it’s hard.
*From Wanaka to Glendhu Bay: Strictly nothing special, you may find lots of secret camp spot. You can stop at Glendhu Bay campsite but it looks more like a factory of campers than a pretty place…
*You may find many Sobo as well as Nobo trampers and starting to tell yourself that Te Araroa is already (too) overcrowded (for you).
*You can reach the first hut in one single day from Wanaka but the following day you will have the choice between a very short one to the Fern Burn hut or a very long one to the Highland Creek Hut. I would advice to plan to reach the second hut in one day from Glendhu Bay or close
*You will meet steep up and down hills track with some impressive ridges but no big deal if the wind push you to the good side… if not … try to fly as you ever did… In the second hut you may hear Possum’s Parties at night… while at Rose hut you may catch one (as Angus did) if you reset the trap
* Angus and I have reached Rose Hut in only 6 hours under bad rain… so the Doc signs may overestimate the 7-8 hours walk indicated if you are as fit as any other TA tramper.
* From Rose Hut to Macetown it took me only 3h30 and not 5-6h as indicated. It was a nice day with a low river… in such a case, just follow the river bed as indicated
*From Macetown to where the TA track leave the 4WD road you will find plenty campspots but after that it is quite impossible to find a good campspot (flat and with water access) whatever you follow TA track or the 4WD track. Be sure it is a safe weather forecast if you follow the 4WD track to Arrowtown, because you will need to cross the river many times (at low level its easy) during 15km
*From Arrowtown to Francton you may be lost between the TA signs and your map … just follow the signs. After crossing the big bridge on Shotover River the track turns right after the SH… and is close due to erosion… but as usual i did the forbidden thing for you… it is safe… just do it
*you will then reach the end of the airport on a strange gravel road at the very end of a No Exit road… that’s the way
*Queenstown is a very busy town everything was fully booked… could be smart to call the place you want to stay (as you reach Arrowtown)
*Reaching the next start of the track on the other side of the Lake is tricky… There is a private 4WD road on West bank of the Lake. I called the owner, he don’t want to have TA trampers crossing his land… so we are screwed my friends…
My Advice is: Take 2/3 extra days of food, hitchhike to Glenorchy and then to Doc Campsite just before Routeburn Track, then do the Routeburn track in one (long) day, not to pay these scandalous hut fees, then you can reach the TA track back to Greenstone Hut following the Greenstone track or another valley… pay a visit to DoC office in Queenstown they will give you the 2$ map.