Haast Pass

The drive north from Wanaka to the West Coast passes through the spectacular scenery of Haast Pass. Makarora, at the northern tip of Lake Wanaka, is a launching point for several multi-day walks in Mount Aspiring National Park. It also marks the start of the drive over the pass.

A number of shorter walks begin at the highway’s edge between Makarora and Haast. These lead you through rainforest to fabulous waterfalls. Favourites include walks to the Blue Pools, Fantail Falls, Thunder Creek Falls and Roaring Billy.

At the Gates of Haast gorge, many travellers stop to photograph the wild water as it crashes over the river boulders.

The basins gouged out by Hawea and Wanaka Glaciers are now under the waters of Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka. Two arms of the glaciers joined at a narrow piece of land called The Neck, crossed on the drive to Makarora.