Rising two vertical kilometers above Queenstown, the craggy profile of The Remarkables provides a spectacular backdrop to Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding area. Join veteran mountain guide and Queenstown local Chris Prudden on a climb of Single Cone, the range highpoint at 2319m. “With nothing higher in any direction for 50km, a great view is guaranteed,” he promises.
0800: Set the alarm early to squeeze in a breakfast at the Tin Goose Café in Frankton. (Top tip: their muffins and scones are a delight.)
0830: From the roundabout outside take the Kingston road south for 5min to The Remarkables ski area access road. Drive the metalled road for 30min to the road end car park at 1600m.
0900: Skirt Lake Alta and walk to Wye Saddle (1950m).
1000: Head west to the base of the north-east ridge of Single Cone and, in dry conditions, scramble to the summit. When there’s snow on the ground, some climbers might want to pitch with a rope.
1230: You’ve done it! Have a breather while you take in the massive views from the summit of Single Cone.
1300: Descend down the same route or scramble/abseil down the gully to the south.
1600: Back to car and hit the road for Queenstown.
1700: Back to Queenstown to relive the day over cold beer and traditional Kiwi food in the old stone building of the Speights Ale House.
Mount Crichton scenic reserve offers a great two hour walk through beech forest and historic gold workings. The track starts off the Glenorchy Road 20min drive from Queenstown. The circuit takes in Sam Sumner’s old miner’s hut and views over lake Wakatipu and Lake Dispute. The trail is well formed and follows Twelve Mile Creek in a picturesque setting.
Wye Creek flows steeply from a valley of the same name. Just before a very sharp corner over a bridge 20min south of Queenstown on the Kingston Road. Cars can be parked off the road and a well graded trail follows the valley gaining 300m in altitude. Views and the valley are spectacular, water falls abound and the valley is also the home to some of New Zealand’s best rock climbing. Soaring cliff faces with climbers clinging to the rock and a trail that follows an historic water pipeline add to the adventure.