Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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Isthmus Peak and Glen Dene Ridge

Lake Hawea, Otago

Submitted by Sierra

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 51

Gnarl Factor: 13








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Very hilly


Open farmlands

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +12.1%

Average Downhill Gradient: -12.1%


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Estimated Times to Run







Beyond the Isthmus Peak track lies the Glen Dene Ridge track which takes you to the Matatiaho Conservation Area.

When you get to the top of Isthmus Peak track just past the toilet, turn left to take the Glen Dene ridge instead of right to the Isthmus Peak summit.

The track is undulating ups and downs from there, taking you 12 km to the fenceline of Mt Burke station (just past point 1455). Then you have a tantalising view of Wānaka, so close, but due to private property, you need to descend the way you came.

Like the rest of the Isthmus Peak track, it's hilly but technically easy farm track terrain, and very exposed. Beautiful views over Wānaka and Hāwea.

You will likely meet many sheep and possibly some deer.

38 km

51 minutes




There's an alternate way down via Long Valley Creek, but this is part of Glen Dene station and you need permission to descend this way.

Very patchy.

Windproof jacket, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

Virtually no water -- bring lots especially as you get full sun exposue on this track!

Very exposed track prone to hot summer sun exposure, wind, etc.

Trail Legend

Tanya Bottomley

Tanya Bottomley

has completed Isthmus Peak and Glen Dene Ridge once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

This is a great trail and good training for the likes of Northburn., or if you want some good undulating ridge running. Cool to see a different view of Wanaka and Hawea - definitely worth adding in the extra to bag isthmus while you are there!

Also note that while this is public conversation land the station runs hunting safari’s through that area over summer!

I checked with the station owner and for 2023 hunting starts beginning of Feb - through until the end of summer. There are warning signs that say stick to the tracks, but I would suggest avoiding the area during this time.

Tanya Bottomley

February 5, 2023

I did this trail many years ago (2015), it was a very long hot day and the only thing I remember very well is there was no water. I could not find any creek marked on the map. Doing 15km with no water wasn't fun. I highly recommend taking enough water!!!!

Martin Trvaj

April 25, 2022

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Overlapping Trails

These overlap with this trail to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate activity for each.

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