The Mt Crichton Loop Track is a 2-3 walking track close to Queenstown, offering amazing views of Lake Dispute and changing scenery along the way.
There are two options for starting this stunning walk; we chose to start our day at the signpost a little before the Twelve Mile Bridge which is approximately 9km from Queenstown. From here it’s a loop track via Lake Dispute or a walk into Moke Lake.
The start of the track is still scarred from fire but once over the top and past a few fences, you are presented with some beautiful vistas over Lake Dispute.
The track continues on over a wee landslide, up and around towards Mt Crichton, then into the most beautiful forest of trees. Bridges and a beautiful waterfall follow before arriving at Sam Summers Hut. Staying here overnight gives you a taste of what life would have been like as a gold prospector. Well worth the time!
A few minutes from the hut is a large sluiced canyon from mining between the 1860’s and 1930’s and a spectacular tail race tunnel that is 24 metres long, 1 meter wide and 10 meters high. Impressive to say the least!
Following on from the tunnel is a relaxing walk back down beside the 12 Mile River to the car park (the other option to begin your walk of the Sam Summers Loop Track).
This is definitely a beautiful and interesting walk which I would highly recommend to anyone with a medium level of fitness. I would suggest however that you start the track from the car park rather than the Twelve Mile Bridge we started at – our journey ended in 10 minute walk back to the car along the highway which isn’t the most enjoyable way to finish such a beautiful walk.
Enjoy the photos and look out for the Mt Crichton Loop Track location page on 360queenstown-wanaka soon.