Mt McIntosh Loop
A steep overnight tramp with magnificent views through open tussock land.
Time: Full day/Multi day
The Mt McIntosh Loop track starts at the Whakaari Conservation Area carpark and finishes on the Queenstown/Glenorchy Rd beside the Buckler Burn.
Walk up the well formed Mt Judah Track to the junction turnoff, this takes around 1 hour 30 minutes. Follow the marked track steeply down to the Buckler Burn, which is then crossed. If high water levels at Buckler Burn make it impassable, you should turn back and return the way you have come.
After Buckler Burn you go up a steep zig-zag up an old mining road leads to McIntyre Hut (5 bunks) and a further hour and 30 minutes on, beyond Long Gully Saddle, is McIntosh Hut (4 bunks).
To continue on the loop track, drop back to the saddle and climb another old mining track to the ridge. Follow this ridge for another hour, with superb views of Lake Wakatipu, Mt Earnslaw/Pikirakatahi, and the Dart Valley, before dropping down a very steep unformed track along a fence line to a water race above the Buckler Burn. The race is followed before dropping back to the Queenstown-Glenorchy Road, five minutes north of the carpark
The Whakaari tracks are alpine and exposed: changeable weather, extreme temperatures, strong winds, snow and ice are possible at any time of year.
River crossing experience is essential. Streams may flood at any time of year due to rain or snow melt and should not be crossed in flood.
If high water levels at the Buckler Burn make it impassable, trampers may have to turn back.
Dangerous mine tunnels are present and may be hidden by vegetation. Do not enter tunnels.