MUST EXPLORE | MCGAZZA TABLEhttps://theflyer.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/McGazza-Table-scaled.jpg19202560The Flyer MagazineThe Flyer Magazinehttps://theflyer.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/McGazza-Table-scaled.jpg
You can start this trail either from the top or the bottom of the gondola based on how much time you have and how much elevation you want to gain on foot.
If you’re starting at the bottom, take the Tiki Trail up to the ZipTrek office and then follow the access road uphill until you see a sign post for Ben Lomond. If you prefer to take the gondola, follow signs for Ben Lomond and you’ll end up in the same spot.
The first short stretch is through pine forest before it opens up to reveal stunning views of the lake, Cecil Peak, the Remarkables, and, of course Ben Lomond. Follow the trail for about 30 minutes until you see a sign on the left marking the Beeched As Mountain Biking Trail, turn off here. This is a dual use trail and needless to say it’s best to keep an eye and ear out for bikers, just in case. This part of the trail is amazing, you’ll head through beech forest which, with it’s mossy tree stumps and moisture in the air often reminds me of the West Coast. There are small easy streams to cross and you’ll often meet nobody at all.
After about an hour you’ll end up at another great viewpoint which will show you a similar vista to before, but this time from a completely different angle. This is where I usually have a snack but you could also hold on just a little bit longer until you get to the McGazza Table at the next look out – you can already see it on the next hill to your right. Keep following the track towards the woods on the far side of the clearing and you’ll get a bit of a repeat of the trees you’ve just left, cross a couple more small streams, head up and around a hill and there you are, the McGazza table!
Once you’re ready for the descent, find the sign that says Fernhill Loop and follow the walking track down. Bits of this can be a bit muddy and there are a couple of steep sections. This is the time to enjoy the view right in front of your feet! Follow this trail and you’ll end up at the beginning of another popular biking trail, McNearly Gnarly. Take a sharp right turn and follow the trail further down the hill. This part of the trail is quite winding, but there are a few obvious shortcuts if you prefer. When you get to a collection of trails (the end of the McNearly Gnarly bike trail), take the first path on the right and you will eventually end up at Wynyard Crescent. What a great day out!