Gladstone to Wānaka

  • Walking
  • Cycling

Gladstone Track - 6.8km / 1.5-2hr

The Upper Clutha Tracks Trust opened this lakeside track in 2011 and, in doing so, finished Te Araroa through the Upper Clutha region. The track links reserves at Gladstone and Lake Hāwea Village and is mainly on the terrace above the lakeshore.

From the Gladstone Reserve the track starts on compacted gravel and heads west around the lakeshore. The track soon crosses Johns Creek (usually dry) and then rises towards Denniston Road. It runs alongside the road briefly and then continues straight ahead onto the terrace above the lake.

After half an hour the track veers inland and descends gently to cross a creek bed. It and then returns to the terrace along the lake fringe. A second creek bed is crossed with a similarly benign descent and climb about 1.5km further along.

The track continues along the terrace and crosses a cattle stop at the town boundary. The track enters the Lake Hāwea Reserve here where it remains for the final half hour or so.The formed track ends on Capell Road about 100m from the Domain Rd intersection, which is adjacent to the Hāwea River control gates.

Hāwea River Track - 12km / 2.5-3.5hr

The Hāwea River Track was another Upper Clutha Tracks Trust project.

  • Note: This track is suitable for both walking and biking. Bikes and prams can cross the swingbridge but need to be carried down the steps at the southern end.

The initial 800m, from Lake Hāwea to a carpark, is road margin but from there it is easy and pleasant walking along the Hāwea River through to the Albert Town Recreation Reserve, a short distance from Albert Town.

For Te Araroa purposes the track starts at the control gates on near the Lake Hāwea foreshore. Walk up Domain Road. The carpark is 800m distant on the right. The off-road track starts here, through the pedestrian gate. Follow the track down, across a small bridge, and then turn left onto the main track.

The track crosses Camp Hill Road in its mid-section and continues downstream to the Alberttown Conservation Area, then to the Hāwea River Swingbridge.

The Albert Town Reserve campground is located immediately over Hāwea River Bridge ($7.00 per night – toilet, water and parking only).

The track beyond the bridge to Albert Town is unmarked. The way, however, is straightforward and initially on vehicle tracks to SH6 Lake Hāwea-Albert Town Road. Turn left onto the road shoulder. The foot path on the right hand side crosses the Clutha River Bridge. Te Araroa's Hāwea River Track ends here. (The Albert Town shops are straight ahead and a short distance away.)

Outlet Track - 12km / 3-4hr

This track comprises 3 popular local tracks: the Outlet; Beacon Point and Bremner Bay Tracks. It takes walkers from Albert Town through to the Wānaka CBD lake frontage.

From the Albert Town (true right) side of the Clutha River Bridge Te Araroa heads upstream on the riverside trail. There is a toilet and interpretation panels a little over a kilometre further along. Continue riverside towards the Lake Wānaka's outlet.

The track ends at the Visitors' Centre on the lakeshore.

Once at the outlet the trail continues around the Lake Wānaka shore. The pathway broadens into vehicle track but for the most it is still foot traffic and cyclists only.

Beyond Beacon Point the trail reverts to walking track and continues around the lake to Bremner Bay. There is a water fountain at the south end of this bay, a short distance from where the track enters the Eely Point Recreational Reserve, and toilets within the reserve itself. On the far side of the reserve the track continues lakeside into Roys Bay, past the boat ramp, and towards the Wānaka CBD.


 Potential hazards:

  • Vehicles on road or track in some places
  • Track exposed to sun, wind or cold
  • Take care on shared cycle/walkways


How to get here

Northern Start: Gladstone Reserve, Lake Hāwea

Southern End: Ardmore Street carpark, Wānaka

Track Elevation

Map of Track

More information

Te Araroa Otago trail notes, including information about accommodation, transport and resupplying

Mountain Safety Council Plan My Trip
Page last updated: Jan 6, 2021, 9:42 AM