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Isthmus Peak

Day 20.

The morning looks good, sunny with only few clouds. When I reach the starting point of Isthmus Peak a sign explains that the trek is closed from 20th of November to 20th of December due to fawning. It does not look closed, so I take my chances. The hike is very beautiful and steadily ascending, there is soon a nice view to the lake, mountains and green fields with sheep. Higher up, the mountains towards north start to appear with their white peaks – they have so-far been behind the peak. It’s really beautiful to walk along the ridge with view to the lakes on both sides and mountains with white peaks – this is the most spectacular view so-far. It takes a while before I reach the summit, as the path continues around each corner, where you think that this must be close to the peak. The hike to Isthmus Peak at 1390m takes roughly 2½ hours with an ascend of 1000m. There are few people on this trek, which was also the reason why I chose it compared to Roy’s Peak. It’s first after noon that more people start to show up. In total I have met or passed 30 people during my 5 hours on the trek.

I drive to Wanaka and have lunch at the nice (windy) beach with view over the lake. Next stop is Queenstown. From the first viewpoint at Crown Range one can see Queenstown in the distance. Further ahead the valley unfolds – this looks for sure like a nice place. There are a lot of traffic and people in the city, it has generally been rather quite on my tour this far except for Auckland, Wellington and at the glaciers. It’s quite expensive to stay at the camp sites in Queenstown, so I continue to a DOC site 10km from Queenstown by the road to Glenorchy (15 dollars per night). I have anyways planned to drive to Glenorchy since the tour should be very scenic.   

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