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Haast Pass to Wanaka & Queenstown: West Coast Road trip


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A snowy Roy's Peak trail over Lake Wanaka A snowy Roy's Peak trail over Lake Wanaka

Feel like taking in the view?

Not a problem as the road has a number of spectacular lookouts. Pull into each of them and check out the options from walks to waterfalls, lookouts over the Alps or walking trails of Mount Aspiring National Park. LAKE WANAKA LOOKOUT just after “the neck”. This is where Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea once connected and are now separated by a narrow piece of land known as an isthmus or “the neck”. The water is a sharp cobalt blue due to glacial flour or ground up rock. About 30 minutes past “the neck” is one of the most popular stops on the road from Queenstown to Franz Josef.

The Blue Pools - bridge walking track

THE BLUE POOLS are exactly that, pools from the Makarora River. The water is a bracing cool dip even in summer, be prepared to shiver.

While the road is wide enough for motorhomes there are few passing lanes and it is winding with sharp corners. The road authorities have constructed several lookouts for visitors that are worthwhile to pull over and enjoy the view without the worry of oncoming traffic.

HAAST PASS LOOKOUT offers a chance to stretch your legs on a short 1.5 km (loop track) to views of Mount Brewster (Mount Aspiring National Park) with the rugged peak clearly illustrating where the bushline finishes and snow and ice dominate.

The Southern Alps in full glory creates a wonderful photo opportunity. Another lookout point is KNIGHTS POINT where visitors view the Tasman Sea as it pounds the West Coast. The interesting arches and pillars in the sea are smaller versions of the Australian Great Ocean Road rock formations.

GATES OF HAAST viewpoint is torrents of water, glacial blue tinted foam swirling rapids crashing over rocks. The views are memorizing. Soak up the views of alpine scenery, wild rapids, natural beauty and the metal bridge crossing.

Knights Point Lookout,
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