Featured Activities

Makarora-Haast Pass Loop

Discover the lush rainforests of Makarora on your way to the ocean over the Haast Pass.

Head out of Wānaka past Mt Iron and across the Clutha (Mata Au) River at Albert Town.

Continue on across the river terraces, alongside Lake Hāwea, and through Manuhaea (the Neck), with beautiful views of both Lakes Hāwea and Wānaka. As your journey draws closer to the Haast Pass, look across Lake Wānaka at beech forest, alpine mountains and historic glaciers of Mt Aspiring National Park. Makarora sits right on the edge of the park and the crystal clear Makarora River. There are numerous walks and lookouts easily accessed from the roadside between Makarora and the Haast Pass.

Return to Wānaka at your own pace.

Wānaka to Albert Town

7 minutes | 6km

Grab a coffee at one of the many cafes in Wānaka township before setting off for the day

Before you head down the road, the Mt Iron walk is great to do if you have time and gives panoramic views over the whole Upper Clutha basin

Be sure to stop at Pembroke Patisserie for some road trip baked goods in Albert Town

Must Stop Spots

Mount Iron Walk
Ardmore Street, Wanaka, New Zealand
Pembroke Pâtisserie
20 Alison Avenue, Albert Town, Otago, 9382, New Zealand

Albert Town to Lake Hāwea

8 minutes | 10km

Spend some time at Hook and try your hand at catching a salmon.

If you have time take the mountain bikes and ride around the Deans Bank track – 12km of flowing single track with banks and berms.

Be sure to stop in to the Food Truck at The Camp Lake Hawea for lunch.

Must Stop Spots

49 Monteith Road, Albert Town, Wanaka, New Zealand
Deans Bank Track
Ardmore Street, Wanaka, New Zealand
The Food Truck + Bar at The Camp
State Highway 6, Lake Hawea

Where To Stay

The Camp – Lake Hawea
SH6, 1208 Lake Hawea Makarora Road, Lake Hawea, 9208, New Zealand

Lake Hāwea to The Neck

16 minutes | 23km

Check out numerous photo spots, including the Lake Wānaka Lookout and the Neck (the narrow spit of land between Lakes Wānaka and Hāwea).

The Neck to Makarora

20 minutes | 26km

On your way to Makarora, you’ll notice a change – you’re heading to the rain forest.

Once in Makarora, there are two cafes to choose from: Makarora Country Cafe and Wonderland Makarora Lodge. After grabbing a cuppa, check out the beautiful fifteen minute nature walk located near Wonderland.

Continuing on, ten minutes up the road past Makarora is the Blue Pools walk through beech forest to beautiful crystal clear pools

After your Blue Pools walk, down the road stop at Cameron Flat campsite for great elevated views of valley and a nearby walk to the lookout.

Must Stop Spots

Wonderland Makarora Lodge
5944 Makarora-haast pass, Makarora, Makarora, Otago, 9382, New Zealand
Blue Pools Track
Ardmore Street, Wanaka, New Zealand
DOC Cameron Flat Campsite
Ardmore Street, Wanaka, New Zealand

Makarora to Haast Pass

13 minutes | 19km

Once you’ve reached Haast Pass, there’s a twenty minute walk to one more lookout – giving you big West Coast mountain views.

From here, head back the way you came to your Wānaka stay.

Must Stop Spots

Haast Pass Lookout Track
Ardmore Street, Wanaka, New Zealand