Outlet Track

Lake Wanaka

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  • Reviews  98%
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3 km one-way | 1 hours one-way

An easy stroll on good tracks to the start of New Zealand’s mightiest River, the Clutha. The source of the Clutha is perfectly clear and glows blue with the fine glacially milled rock flour.

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Contact

Access

From Wanaka follow the lake shore back towards Cromwell. Turn left at the roundabout and continue until you hit Aubrey Road. After 1.5 km turn left onto Outlet Road, bearing left and arriving at the campground.

Follow your nose until you hit the river and a small DoC sign showing the start of the track. There is a large parking area here.

The track exits in Albert Town. From the junction of SH6 and SH84 follow SH84 for 2 km and turn left into Alison Ave.

After 1 km, at the junction with Gunn Road, Hikuwai Conservation Area is signposted.

Alternatively you can walk from Wanaka town centre along the Eastern shore, with a bit of Wanaka life on show - the marina, Eely Point, Bremner Bay and Millionaires Row. Allow an extra 1 hour.

Return via the same track or hitch/taxi from Albert Town.

Track

Follow the river edge on a shared track with bikes alongside some of New Zealand’s prime trout fishing waters. The track mostly passes under shady kanuka. A few beaches are shaded under weeping willows and grassy patches are perfect for picnic or siesta or both.

The river cliffs echo the rippling waters and ducks, shags and gulls shelter under languid branches.

Shortly after a gravel area the track weaves through a scrubby patch before climbing steeply up a bank by the bridge at Albert Town.

Return via the same track, or follow the suburban roads around the front (steep side) of Mount Iron to complete a loop. Or hitch back to Wanaka.

Geology

The Clutha is New Zealand’s second longest river but carries the largest volume. From headwaters way in the Southern Alps near Haast Pass it is the only outlet for Lake Wanaka. It’s catchment is nearly 22,000 square km. On it’s 338 km journey it passes through Otago and to reach the Pacific near Balclutha.

The milky opalescence is derived from refracted light, which is bent to blue parts of the spectrum by quantities of finely milled glacial rock flour carried in suspension.

Polynesian History

To Maori the river was known as Mata-au, meaning ‘current’ or ‘swirl in a body of water’.

6 reviews with the most recent first

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

S Weslake's avatar

S Weslake

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Lovely place to walk, run, cycle or swim! Access all around into the town, about 6 miles I think. Highly recommend, especially if you’re staying at the campsite here.

Reviewed 7 months ago and experienced in March 2018

Conservation Campsite Pass

Save up to 70% on campsite fees! Support conservation and experience the natural beauty of NZ. 74 Department of Conservation campsites, one convenient pass.

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Liwen's avatar

Liwen

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

Great walk, not difficult, just a stroll.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in February 2016

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Access savings worth hundreds of $$ on Top Ranked NZ Accommodation and Activities for just $1 per day.

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Jasmin's avatar

Jasmin

Italy

Ranking: 9/10

Amazing day walk around crystal blue clear water and along a green path. Awesome views of the surroundings.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in October 2015

Avoid Camping Fines!

The only camping map where each location is approved by every regional council in NZ. So if it shows on the map, you’re allowed to stay.

The Rankers Camping NZ app, is also in association with…

Henrik Suefke's avatar

Henrik Suefke

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Fantastic lakeside walking and cycle trail from the village to the Lake Outlet Campground. Quite flat and very scenic!

Reviewed over 4 years ago and experienced in February 2014

Camping NZ App Icon

Camping NZ App

Every camping site on your iPhone™, iPad™ or Android™ phone or tablet. Avoid camping penalties using this council approved app. Featuring offline maps.

Download from the App Store Download Android app on Google Play

Oppenoorth's avatar

Oppenoorth

Netherlands

Ranking: 9/10

Wonderful track along the Clutha, either way Alberttown to Wanaka.

Reviewed over 7 years ago

Deede K's avatar

Deede K

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

Very nice trail along Lake Wanaka until Albert Town, craning Hawea river over a swing bridge, not a difficult route.

Reviewed almost 9 years ago and experienced in November 2009

6 reviews with the most recent first

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

S Weslake's avatar

S Weslake

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Lovely place to walk, run, cycle or swim! Access all around into the town, about 6 miles I think. Highly recommend, especially if you’re staying at the campsite here.

Reviewed 7 months ago and experienced in March 2018

Conservation Campsite Pass

Save up to 70% on campsite fees! Support conservation and experience the natural beauty of NZ. 74 Department of Conservation campsites, one convenient pass.

Get the Pass

Liwen's avatar

Liwen

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

Great walk, not difficult, just a stroll.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in February 2016

Top Ranked NZ Deals Pass

Access savings worth hundreds of $$ on Top Ranked NZ Accommodation and Activities for just $1 per day.

Get deals pass

Jasmin's avatar

Jasmin

Italy

Ranking: 9/10

Amazing day walk around crystal blue clear water and along a green path. Awesome views of the surroundings.

Reviewed over 2 years ago and experienced in October 2015

Avoid Camping Fines!

The only camping map where each location is approved by every regional council in NZ. So if it shows on the map, you’re allowed to stay.

The Rankers Camping NZ app, is also in association with…

Henrik Suefke's avatar

Henrik Suefke

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Fantastic lakeside walking and cycle trail from the village to the Lake Outlet Campground. Quite flat and very scenic!

Reviewed over 4 years ago and experienced in February 2014

Camping NZ App Icon

Camping NZ App

Every camping site on your iPhone™, iPad™ or Android™ phone or tablet. Avoid camping penalties using this council approved app. Featuring offline maps.

Download from the App Store Download Android app on Google Play

Oppenoorth's avatar

Oppenoorth

Netherlands

Ranking: 9/10

Wonderful track along the Clutha, either way Alberttown to Wanaka.

Reviewed over 7 years ago

Deede K's avatar

Deede K

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

Very nice trail along Lake Wanaka until Albert Town, craning Hawea river over a swing bridge, not a difficult route.

Reviewed almost 9 years ago and experienced in November 2009