• Activities:

    Mountain Biking, Running, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    8.7 Miles

Beach
Easy Parking
Lake
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Wildlife

The Minaret Burn Track brings you along Lake Wanaka's less explored west side and rewards you with beautiful lake and mountain views the whole way. It's an out-and-back track that can be enjoyed as a day hike, trail run, mountain bike or horse ride, and Colquhouns Beach makes a perfect picnic and/or swimming destination!

The Minaret Burn Track starts at the end of West Wanaka Road at Homestead Bay, which many tourists (and locals!) unknowingly drive past on their way to Treble Cone, Diamond Lake and/or the Rob Roy glacier. The start of the track is signposted and trail times to Colquhouns Beach (2-3 hrs; 7km) and the Mount Alta Conservation Area (5-6 hrs) are listed.

The trail to Colquhouns Beach follows a 4WD track that gently undulates alongside the lake. It's an access road for the station owners, but you'll more likely see the cows and sheep than any vehicles. You experience beautiful views of Lake Wanaka, Mou Waho and Tapu islands and the surrounding peaks the whole way, and you'll likely enjoy the views all to yourself (not counting 4-legged friends...).

Colquhouns Beach itself is a long beach with little lapping waves and makes a great picnic and swimming site. The breeze keeps a lot of the sandflies away, but if you're planning on sitting around for a while you might want bug juice just in case....

Beyond Colquhouns, the track carries along lakeside before crossing the Rumbling Burn, which has the potential to be impassable after heavy rains or snow melt. The track then climbs upward out of the Rumbling Burn valley, providing great views of the lakeshore below. As you continue along the track you come upon a signpost marking the short detour to Minaret Hut, which is a private hut owned by West Wanaka Station. The trail continues towards Minaret Burn, and the 4WD track becomes a single-track trail as it descends into the Minaret Burn Valley (about 16km from the start). Just before the burn itself, a track leads east to the mouth of the Minaret Burn and the lakefront.

More info can be found.

Pack List

  • Hiking shoes
  • Water
  • Bug protection
  • Sun protection
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Maggie Evans

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

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