Isthmus Peak, mountain between Wanaka and Hawea

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Isthmus Peak is a mountain (1385m) situated in the narrow neck between Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea. The track itself starts on the SH6, which leads from Wanaka to the West Coast. Access to the trail is very easy.

 

Some people say that Isthmus Peak is an alternative to another Wanaka’s famous track – Roys Peak. Maybe those two tracks have some similarities, but in fact, those are two different stories.

Therefore, what can be expected from Isthmus Peak Track?

Only lower part of the track offers more diverse flora. The part with the silver beech tree forest and manuka/kanuka bushes ends pretty quick. On the following kilometers, when going higher there is only golden grass – tussock. The track is not very demanding, it takes 5-6 hours return and it leads mostly on 4WD track.  Going up there is Lake Hawea accompanying us, only at the end of the track, near the top northern part of Lake Wanaka reveals itself. High mountains are not that far far away, there is the feeling that the Southern Alps are at your fingertips. Isthmus Peak is not as popular as Roys Peak and going downhill doesn’t destroy knees that badly.

 

I hiked that track already twice, in two different seasons: winter and summer. I’ll tell the trough, first time, when I walked that track in the winter I wasn’t convinced. I still had the view from Roys Peak at the back of my head and weather wasn’t too pleasant either. But I changed my opinion after hiking Isthmus Peak Track in the summer. The view is stunning. Therefore… I recommend! 🙂

PS. If you planning to go on Isthmus Peak Track remember that this track is closed between 20 November and 20 December due to baby lambs popping up. Make sure you take enough water, there is no source of water on the track.

 

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End of Lake Hawea

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Cow vs human

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new zealand, south island, central otago, lake wanaka, lake hawea, mountains nz, southern alps, hiking nz, photography new zealand,
Lower parts of the track have bit more plants to offer

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new zealand, south island, central otago, lake wanaka, lake hawea, mountains nz, southern alps, hiking nz, photography new zealand,

new zealand, south island, central otago, lake wanaka, lake hawea, mountains nz, southern alps, hiking nz, photography new zealand,

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The tussock, plant which dominates Central Otago’s landscape

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new zealand, south island, central otago, lake wanaka, lake hawea, mountains nz, southern alps, hiking nz, photography new zealand,
The view of Lake Hawea
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The top of Isthmus Peak
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The View of Lake Wanaka

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new zealand, south island, central otago, lake wanaka, lake hawea, mountains nz, southern alps, hiking nz, photography new zealand,

new zealand, south island, central otago, lake wanaka, lake hawea, mountains nz, southern alps, hiking nz, photography new zealand,

new zealand, south island, central otago, lake wanaka, lake hawea, mountains nz, southern alps, hiking nz, photography new zealand,
Fluffy cloud reflected on mountains surrounding Lake Hawea
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Isthmus Peak Track in winter
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With snow and clouds the Southern Alps look even more dramatic
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Even in a bad weather you can have stunning effects
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Sheep, sheep… there always has to be a sheep
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A small hole through which shines Lake Hawea
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Polish Girl on the track

 

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