'Da da da boomboom, da da da boomboom, da da da boomboom, da da dada dada'
Naked in New Zealand...
Recently I was lucky enough to enjoy a 5 day scenic tour of a picturesque part of New Zealand's South Island.
Having heard great things about the abundance of fantastic trails for running & biking in the area, I was pumped to experience them first hand.
First run of the trip was a short barefoot run along a path into town and around the lake front.
Total distance: ~4km
Next morning I went looking for a climb and found the trail up Mt John leading to amazing views from the lookout & observatory.
The view consisted of a mix of snow-dusted mountains, glacial lakes & wide, open plains - the sort you would expect to find a battle from 'Lord of the Rings' played out on.
Total distance: ~6k
More breath-taking scenery was discovered on the drive to Wanaka then through Cardrona & over the Crown Pass, the highest sealed road in all the land. Central Otago showing off it's splendour!
On the approach to Queenstown we made a stop at Lake Hayes. Our tour guide claimed this was her favourite run. Didn't need any more encouragement than that!
The trail loop around Lake Hayes has plenty of rolling ups and downs, with jaw-dropping views of the surrounding mountains at nearly every turn.
Not satisfied with just one loop I doubled up to enjoy it again.
Total distance: ~16km
Arriving in Queenstown, all the talk that night was about climbing Ben Lomond in the morning. As this would have been a more serious undertaking & we were pushed for time, it was decided to do part this trip & return another time to complete the full thing.
The Tiki Trail is the trail runner's alternative to a comfy ride on the Gondola. Plenty of zig-zags while climbing and keeping an eye out for bikers on the array of neighbouring bike tracks.
The panoramic views over Lake Wakatipu & Queenstown across to The Remarkables and other surrounding mountains were once again stunning.
A brief rest for a coffee and a date scone then onwards around to the track continuing up the the Ben Lomond Saddle & Peak.
Here we headed back down via the One Mile Track. I gotta say, running through the dense cover of trees, next to a stream was as close as I've ever felt to running through parts of Middle Earth. I think I spotted a few elves & ents on the way!
Total distance: ~15km
Before leaving Queenstown on the final day, we enjoyed breakfast at a lake-side cafe, before a barefoot run around the Queenstown Gardens & further along the lake. Again, magic conditions for running.
Total distance: ~5km
From the short visit I enjoyed, I can't speak highly enough of the great options for trail running, and just generally getting outside in New Zealand's South Island.
Will definitely be back!
Posted a selection of photos on our Facebook page.
Also, check out the short video of the trip:
For more info on NZ Trail Running check out Running Wild NZ.