Hike Isthmus Peak

New Zealand Isthmus Peak Track

Added by Maggie Evans

This is an amazing day hike that gets morning sun and rewards you with great views of both Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka!! Its a great walk for all times of year, but it's closed for fawning Nov. 20th-Dec. 20th, and you might want gators and good boots during the snowy months.

The Isthmus Peak Track is a 16km out-and-back hike to the summit of Isthmus Peak (1,385 meters), where you get great views of Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka and the Southern Alps. The track starts off the Lake Hawea section of SH6, about a 30 minute drive from Wanaka Township, and there's a yellow 'Isthmus Peak' signpost at the carpark. From the bottom, you follow a poled route along the true right of Stewart Creek that eventually turns into a 4WD track. It's an 8km climb up a steep, completely exposed path to the skyline ridge. After an amble along the ridge you get to the summit. It's an unrelenting uphill tramp, but it's worth the effort. It can be really windy, but on a clear day the views are incredible. It can also be mountain biked, but you'll need to be pretty fit to enjoy it!

Pack List

  • Track info: doc.govt.nz/matatiaho-conservation-area-tracks/
  • Bring a windproof layer regardless of the season, and some layers for the top.
  • Have sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat to protect yourself from the sun since it's a completely exposed track (i.e. has great views!)
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Hiking, Mountain Biking, Running

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



9.9 Miles

Elev. Gain:

4544 Feet



Easy Parking

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How to Get There

6 months ago

Best Views

The views on this hike are the best I have ever seen. In my opinion they are better than the much more popular Roy's Peak hike, and overall it is a little less challenging hike in my opinion.

6 months ago

9 months ago

Great Adventures

I just moved to Queenstown NZ and boy am I glad I found you on here! I can't wait to get started!

9 months ago

Added by Maggie Evans

California-born trail runner, backpacker, and outdoor adventure-seeker living in New Zealand.

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