A hike in the hills was on my list of things to do while in New Zealand and on the second morning in Wanaka I set out for the Mt Iron Track. Located on the edge of Mount Aspiring National Park, the track is a 4.5k / 2.8m walk with a total ascent of 166m / 546.86 ft and has a maximum elevation of 546m / 1,747.64 ft. Those numbers may not seem impressive but the elevation of Wanaka is only 277 m / 90o ft. Including the walk to the trail head and back, I logged 16k / 9.9 miles that morning.
This image, taken from a moving car the next day, shows the silhouette of Mt Iron.
Walking in a slight drizzle, I reached the trail head around 9am. I took the obligatory “beginning of the hike” image (thinking of Karen, the Unassuming Hiker), and set off in the mist. The women I hike with would have loved the well maintained toilets just around that curve in the first image.
This sculpture, erected in 2012, commemorates the world’s first recorded sheep dog trial, held in 1867.
The hike is a loop trail and the first 45 minutes of hiking are a solid, uphill climb. Finding myself a bit out of breath, I marveled at the number of people who ran by me as they used the trail as a work out.
Yes, this was the trail in places.
At times the mist would clear, but much of the time the view was shrouded in mist and fog.
I crossed over the stile and saw some hikers coming back down the trail. Can you see them?
I reached the summit and immediately saw the survey and summit markers.
Clearly the view was obscured but I enjoyed reading the signage and learning the history.
The loop offered different scenery on the way down and I enjoyed viewing the plants and trees.
During the descent, the view became more visible. I took these images about halfway down.
Soon enough, I was back at the parking lot and started the walk back into town.
My 10 mile morning earned me a well deserved flat white at a nice little cafe.
On to the next New Zealand adventure!