Along the knife’s edge
YOU DON’T HAVE to drive far to find the wilderness beyond the high street and Queenstown’s tourism hustle and bustle.
Just 12km west of Queenstown is Mt Crichton Reserve and a popular two hour jaunt around a valley circuit of mountain beech. There is plenty of evidence of gold mining in the area; miner Sam Summer lived here for 10 years in a small stone hut (still complete) and utilised water from Twelve Mile Creek to blast away and slice gravels in the search for gold. The old hut (from 1930) and a 24m tail race tunnel are worth a visit.
Mt Crichton (1870m), the dominant peak at the corner of Lake Wakatipu, can be climbed via a long ridge from the Mt Crichton Loop Track.
The route starts 100m north of the Maori Gully bridge (440m), climbing...