Mount Iron is a rocky hill, which was carved by retreating glaciers. In geology it is known as a ‘roche moutonnée’, which is essentially a piece of bedrock that was carved by glacial erosion. One side is smooth and the other is rough due to the erosion. On the western and northern sides are smooth with a gentle slope, whilst the south side is steep and scored. The hill apparently gets its name as it resembles an iron…
If you’re in Wanaka and fancy a bit of fresh air, the spectacular views from the Mount Iron summit are worth the walk!
The Mount Iron Track
The Mount Iron track is a popular loop walk that is accessible from Wanaka. The loop walk is 4.5km (2.8 miles) and ascends 240m. It takes roughly 1-2 hours to complete the loop. There are some steep parts, but overall it is not a terribly difficult walk.
From the carpark you go over the stile and take the left fork (being a loop you can go either way, but this is the way on the website). This takes you through farmland and mānuka and kānuka woodland of the Mount Iron Scenic Reserve.
Reaching the summit you are rewarded with amazing views. Take a breather to absorb the views and information panels! From this rocky knoll you have a 360° view of the surrounding area! This vantage point opens up a scene of Wanaka, Lakes Wanaka and Hawea, the Pisa Range and Kā Tiritiri o te Moana (the Southern Alps).
Once you’ve tired of the view (it may take a while…) it’s time to head back down. You can either retrace your steps or head down the eastern face. The descent is down a steeper side and zigzags a bit. This takes you towards the entrance to Puzzle World.
The Boring Bit…
Although the track is a fairly easy walk, remember to be careful and always:
- Prepare for all weathers with
- Sun hat;
- Wear sturdy footwear;
- Take a map.
So, if you have some time in Wanaka and want a walk, why not climb Mount Iron? You will be rewarded with some amazing views and it’s not an overly difficult climb!
Want to go? You can check out nearby accommodation on Tripadvisor.