Lake Alta to Wye Creek

Experience complete wilderness just a couple of hours walk from Queenstown.

This walk starts at the Remarkables ski field car park (40 minute drive from Queenstown). A steady climb to a picturesque glacial lake begins on the road behind the base building and crosses the Rastus Burn.

The track climbs just over the burn, by the Sugarbowl Chairlift. Cairns and flagstones mark the way through alpine wetlands, up to the cirque beyond the top of the Alta Chairlift.

As you admire the beautiful crystal clear lake and the back side of Single and Double Cone follow the route on the left handside of the lake and climb to the saddle.

At the saddle you are rewarded by beautiful views back down to Lake Alta and over into the Wye Creek valley.

The track descends towards several tarns, and even though it was the beginning of January and very hot there was still a bit of snow around. This made the descent quicker by doing some boot skating.

You are spoilt by the amount of tarns in the area and where to set up camp!

The next day follow markers that take you down the steep descent of the waterfall. It zig zags down the face across rocks before reaching grass and tussock on the valley floor.

Follow the widely spaced markers on the left hand side of the stream, some route finding is required.

Eventually you will come across orange arrows which guide you from the Lower Wye Creek basin, across the creek and through the beech forest to a hydro dam.

Follow the pipeline from the dam down a steep track to the car park on SH6, 20 minute drive from Queenstown.

This hike can be done in a day (6hours) or as an overnight trip to make it a bit more relaxed. Day 1 consists of 1.5-2 hours of walking. Day 2 is tougher with a 4-5 hour descent.  

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