IntroductionNestled among mature beech and podocarp forest, these pools of deep, clear water flowing into the Makarora River offer a moment of tranquillity. This is one of our best short walks.
Fitness required: Suitable for most fitness levels.
An easy short walk through mature beech and podocarp forest leads to these natural wonders of pure glacial water gathered from the mountains. Travel through open flats for spectacular mountain views and enjoy the coolness of the beech forest to a swing bridge over the Makarora River.
Continue on a boardwalk to the second swing bridge, which is the viewing platform over the Blue Pools. Cross this bridge for great views up the river gorge.
There's a limit to the number people allowed on the swing bridges at any one time – be prepared to wait at each end if numbers allowed have been reached.
Return on the same track.
The Young River Link Track continues on from the Blue Pools bridge.
From Wānaka, drive north on the Haast Highway (SH6) to Makarora township. Continue along the highway for about 12 km. The track starts from the Blue Pools carpark off SH6, opposite Cameron Flat campsite.
What to expect
Change in elevation: +/- 30 m
The nearest toilet facilities are at the Blue Pools car park.
No visitor centre in Makarora
The threatened yellowhead/mohua can often be heard in the canopy.