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Lake Hayes Circuit, Otago

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Lake Hayes CircuitBeginner

Submitted by Andre Chalmers

Info Info
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Trail Information







Urban fringe


Undulating, small hills only

Native bush
Plantation/exotic forest
Open farmlands
Open tussock/grasslands


1:00 (Slow)
0:45 (Moderate)
0:30 (Fast)



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This is one of the compulsory key runs in the Wakatipu basin. Simply follow the road/track around in a clockwise direction, plenty of dirt single track a few rocks and some boardwalk to negotiate. Make sure you look around as you run as there are some awesome views.

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Features of interest

Look out for the many sights on the lake including swimmers, kayakers and rowers. Birdlife that can be seen on the lake includes the introduced mallard, feral goose, the native New Zealand scaup, Australasian crested grebe and the black shag.

Make Up of Run

Easy Single Track: 100%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    There are multiple points to start this awesome trail including the Pavilion next to SH6 or approach from Lake Hayes Estate. For the Wild Things circuit you will want to start from the main carparking area at the top of the lake towards Arrowtown - it is off the Arrowtown-Lake Hayes Road down a short 4wd track and is well sign posted.

    Ample parking all over the grass areas at the start

    4 km

    5 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .

    Stick near the lake and you can't go wrong. It is quite clear where to go but can become harder if you choose to do it at night time.

    Generally good.

    Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

    Generally speaking don't drink out of the lake. Take your own water or nothing since it is a short track. If you really get desperate just get some from the toilet at the carpark - the start and end of the loop.

    Can be done all year during the night and day and in most weather. Can sometimes get tricky when the low areas flood. Also at nighttime in the winter the trail gets quite icy and hard so you may slip but the rest of the time perfect.

    There are a few steep drop offs which are normally not a problem but if you choose to run at night make sure you take a torch your going to be running at max speed so we don't want slipping down the bank!

  • Post run indulgence

    The Hayes
    1 Onslow Road, Lake Hayes, Queenstown 9304
    Great food/wine and beer at an affordable price and in a great setting.

    Amisfield Vineyard and Winery
    10 Lake Hayes Road, RD 1, Queenstown 9371
    Top class wine, ask for 'trust the chef' on the menu. Really close to the lake.

    Akarua Wines & Kitchen by Artisan
    265 Arrowtown-Lake Hayes Road, Arrowtown 9371
    Again awesome wine. Drop dead gorgeous rural setting. Really close to the lake.

  • Blog Posts and Articles




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