12 runs for Christmas: #11 Skyline Route via Mt Roy track

Christmas running in Wanaka, New Zealand

This is a challenging run and is not what i would recommend for beginners. It is 19km from Aspiring Rd to Cardrona Valley Rd (spotts Creek) and begins with the track to Roys Peak. Dont think Roys peak is the end of the climbing, from Roys peak, follow the ridge line to one last climb over Mt Alpha. From here you descend through snow tussock to a 4WD track. Then follow the poled route beside Spotts Creek to the Cardrona Road, 10 km from Wanaka township.

Allow between 4-5 hours if running and take enough food & water for the whole trip as there is no water untill you get to spotts creek. I have never walked this but DOC estimate 10-11 hours if tramping.

If running, don't forget to stop once in a while to take in the magic views - some of the best in New Zealand!

This track is prone to low cloud and is not recommended in poor weather or during the winter.

This track crosses private land. Please respect the landowner’s property and livestock - no dogs or bikes.

The access via Roys Peak Track is closed for lambing from the 1 October - 10 November inclusive.

Note; For more up to date info and weather conditions on this track head into the DOC office in Wanaka

12 runs for Christmas: #9 & #10 Hawea River track/ upper Clutha river track.

Christmas running in Wanaka, New Zealand

Both of these tracks start from Albert Town, New Zealand. The Hawea track starts at the Albert Town recreation reserve. Crosses the Hawea river via a swing bridge then the track follows the river to Hawea township. It is an easy 12km run to Hawea and is also a great for mountain biking. This is a very safe family friendly track, you can even take a pram. You will only need a little help up and down the stairs at the swing bridge.

The Upper Clutha track heads in a different direction to the Hawea track. This track follows the Clutha track to the Luggate bridge which is around 16km. Another great local run with awesome views of the Clutha river. Just like the Hawea track it is very family friendly. If on a mountain bike, maybe try coming back on the other side on the Newcastle track.

12 runs for Christmas: #4 Fern Burn Hut

Christmas running in Wanaka, New Zealand

The Fern Burn Hut is the first of three huts when starting from the wanaka side. It is part of the Motatapu Track which finishes in Arrowtown, New Zealand.

It is a 7km run to the Fern Burn Hut (14km return). This is a really enjoyable run although it can be quite technical in spots. It gradually climbs through Beech forest and follows the Fern Burn which is quite nice on a hot day. You will then break out of the forest onto Tussock covered mountains. Here the track treverses on some steep Tussock faces where you will need to be cautious of your footing.

I would not rate this a beginner track to run but is very achievable for all ages(not infants). Be carefull with young ones. I have walked this track last year with my two daughters (aged 8 & 6 at the time) and stayed the night in the hut. It took us 3:40min up and 2:55min back the next day. There is plenty of spots for water along the track from the river and the hut also has a small rainwater tank.

Note; For more up to date info and weather conditions on this track head into the DOC office in Wanaka.

12 runs for Christmas: #3 Sawyer Burn Hut

Christmas running in Wanaka, New Zealand

The Sawyer Burn track starts from the Kidds Bush campsite on the shores of Lake Hawea, New Zealand.

This is only a 3km run to the Hut although don't be fooled. this track starts off with a steep climb to the top of the bushline. Allow about 2 hours return if running to the hut or about 5 hours return if walking.

Once you break through the bushline you are greeted with outstanding views of Lake Hawea. From here the track sidles the hillside to the hut at mostly the same height.

If camping at Kidds Bush it is a great way to have a break from the sandflies at lake level....Take plenty of water, There is a few creeks along the way if needed. On the day of these photos we needed it!

For more up to date info and weather conditions on this track head into the DOC office in Wanaka.

12 runs for Christmas: #2

Christmas running in Wanaka, New Zealand

Well if you live in Wanaka, New Zealand and you have not walked up Mt Iron yet you better have a good reason for it. This would have to be one of Wanaka's most popular walks/runs. I would hope that all my members have this track somewhere in there training program (weekly). I couldn't even guess how many times I've been over it. 

This is a very family friendly track. You can go either way around it and start from several locations. It's only about a 45min walk to the top and a really good hill to train on. Running Mt Iron will take between 10-20 min to summit, so once is sometimes just not enough. Once again the 360 degree view from the top is impressive especially early morning as the sun hits the alps with spectacular colour on a perfect day. So go get your running shoes on and I will see you out there. Oh and one more thing. This is also a great track for dogs so get them into it too, but for gods sake pick up there s*!t... DOC even supply bags for you at the start of the track.