We were originally intending to have a few rest days after an energetic trip into the Mount Aspiring National Park, but as we sipped coffee in Queenstown and looked at the stunning weather report, we decided that we had to make the most of it. After some good suggestions from the Department of Conservation (DOC) office, we headed straight out on a 2-day trek near Glenorchy before the bad weather moved in.
The one hour drive around Lake Wakatipu is a highlight in itself and on a fine day there are many stops needed for photo enthusiasts.
The start of the McIntosh track shares the same path as that used by day hikers walking up to the Bonnie Jean Mine / Hut. In fact this was the only part where we encountered other people. For the rest of the trip we were totally alone.
Careful footing was needed for the main river crossing on day one. This is the biggest we've ever had to cross with heavy backpacks on [Update: bigger experienced on the South Coast Track, Tasmania]. The problem was that we had all our travel electronics packed, including GPS, laptop and cameras so we had to be ultra careful to avoid expensive slip-ups.
The highlight was the camping at McIntyre Hut with a spectacular view over Lake Wakatipu, snow-capped mountain backdrop and complete peace and quiet having the place all to ourselves.
The trek down on day two was interesting to say the least. The pictures below tell the story. A bit of a dampener on an otherwise stunning trip.