MUST EXPLORE | LAKE RERE LOOP TRACK 1500 1125 The Flyer Magazine


5-6 hours

This is an incredible day hike that is worth the 1.5 hours drive to the Greenstone car park, but beware, there are three fords to cross just after Kinloch. These are fine with a normal car in dry weather, but might require a 4WD after heavy rain, so keep that in mind when planning your hike.


Looking down Lake Rere towards the Greenstone Valley.

I would recommend hiking anti-clockwise for a more dramatic finish, but feel free to go clockwise if you prefer. From the car park, follow the trail towards the Caples and Greenstone tracks and ignore the first bridge on your left. The trail leads through beech forest with the river below and you’ll reach the Caples and Greenstone valley fork after about 30 minutes, take the trail on the left across the bridge and start heading down the Greenstone Valley. You’ll spend about 1.5 hours in native beech forest with glimpses of the river and mountains around you — time enough to enjoy the bird song, fresh air and serenity. You’ll reach a sign guiding you off the track to the left towards Lake Rere and Elfin Bay, head down to the bridge, cross and follow the orange arrows until you pop out of the trees for stunning views up and down the valley. Large chunks of this walk lead through cattle fields, so make sure you’re respectful and stick to the trails.

Lake Rere is an intimate lake surrounded by mountains on three sides and a stunning view down the alley in the other direction. We stopped here for lunch and stuck our feet in the water — go for a swim if you’re brave enough! The trail continues along the side of the lake and you’ll get a breathtaking view back down the Greenstone Valley before heading back into the woods. From here, follow the arrows through a narrow tree covered valley. We heard stags and saw deer here, and if you’re quiet you might be rewarded with a glimpse as well. As you pop out of the trees, Lake Wakatipu and Elfin Bay are right below you and give you an absolutely stunning view of turquoise waters, mountains and fields. The lake is beautiful from every angle, but this is a truly unique vantage point. Follow the path down to the lake and from there make sure you avoid the farm track — keep an eye out for the orange markers to your left instead. This track briefly leads uphill before you pop out of the trees with 360 degree views. From now on the track leads over a few stiles and along the fenceline, this is the home stretch and you’ll be back at your car in less than an hour.