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June 2016 Issue
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Lazy days at Wye Creek

Climbing out of Wye Creek with perfect camping tarns far below. Photo: Dennis Radermacher
Total Ascent
Take the Remarkables ski field road to the main car park
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Upper Wye Creek (gpx, yo 22 KB)
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Wye Creek Basin, The Remarkables Conservation Area, Queenstown

The upper Wye Creek basin is the perfect destination for a spontaneous camping trip.

Camping on high alpine terrain usually requires a gruelling approach. Thanks to The Remarkables access road, we were spared the long walk to this beautiful destination. After arriving in the early evening we set out on the short walk to Wye Creek. We decided against following the Wye Creek Route and were rewarded with a much easier approach. One of the access roads to a ski lift took us to a saddle between points 2050 and 2035, where we crossed.

The faint trail was a lot shorter and easier than the actual route. It took us to our destination in under two hours where we pitched our tents by one of the lakes.

We spent the next day leisurely exploring the area. A crescent-shaped spur south of the lakes offered an easy trip to Pt2046. We decided that the little tarn by Pt2020 is the perfect staging area for future adventures in the region. After returning to the basin we enjoyed a warm afternoon in the sun.

Wye Creek basin is arguably the most convenient base camp in New Zealand. Starting a trip at 1600m to explore dozens of little tarns in the saw-toothed shadow of The Remarkables is probably not the most sportsmanlike way to explore the mountains, but it sure is a lot of fun!