IntroductionThis walk passes through native forest and bush, crossing burns (streams) and giving access to Lake Wānaka itself. This track is suitable for walking, mountain biking and horse riding.
Starting from the carpark at Homestead Bay, the track follows Lake Wānaka to Minaret Burn.
From Homestead Bay, the walking track undulates gently above the Lake Wānaka shoreline until it meets a 4WD track. About 2 – 3 hours (7.5km) from Homestead Bay a track leads off to the right to Colquhouns Beach, a pleasant place to swim and picnic.
After crossing Station Creek, you’re in the conservation area of the same name and now following the Minaret Burn tramping track. This incorporates remnant forest and shrublands and provides access to the lake foreshore.
On the main track, after about 10 minutes, it crosses the Rumbling Burn. Take care crossing this burn as it may be impassable during snowmelt or after heavy rain. By taking the track to cross the burn you’re in the Minaret Burn Mouth Conservation Area.
From here the track climbs steeply out of Rumbling Burn Valley before following a gentle terrace to the Minaret Burn. It is a relatively easy walk up the valley. The burn’s true left is on Minaret Station and permission is required for access. This track is suitable for walking, mountain biking and horse riding. There are no horse gates. Riders must get access details and a gate key from West Wānaka Station (+64 3 443 7144) for locked gates on public tracks.
Rumbling Burn Track
Distance: 2.25 km one way from Minaret Burn junction
At the far north end of Colquhouns Beach, before the hill climb, the Rumbling Burn Track leads off to the left. This track gives access (foot only) to the Mount Alta Conservation Area. It's an easy uphill sidle. At the mouth of the Rumbling Burn you’ll find a delightful bush-clad beach.
The track starts at Homestead Bay, at the end of West Wanaka Road.
- The Minaret Burn Track is by private land. Respect the landowner’s livestock and property by ensuring that gates are left as found and, where they’re provided, that stiles are used.
- Providing hunters have a current hunting permit for lands administered by DOC, unloaded firearms may be carried on tracks. Under no circumstances are firearms to be discharged prior to entering permitted hunting areas.
- Minaret Hut is a private hut and permission must be obtained from West Wanaka Station before using it.
- Your safety is your responsibility. Stay safe in the outdoors and follow the five essential steps of the Land Safety Code.
- All trampers need to plan properly and be well equipped. This includes having appropriate maps. For this area the topographical map, topo50 CA12 Minaret Bay is recommended.
- In summer, very hot and dry conditions are common. Make sure you carry an adequate water supply and, as this is a typical Central Otago climate, have adequate protection against the sun.
- If venturing into the mountains, alpine conditions may be experienced at any time of year. Be prepared and ensure that you carry warm, windproof clothing and have the appropriate footwear. The higher country is under snow during the winter months.
Be avalanche alert
This area has terrain that can produce avalanches that cross the track, usually from May into November. View avalanche information and the terrain rating for this track.
Crossing rivers: If you plan to cross an unbridged river, you must know how to identify an unsafe river, and where and how to cross safely. You should also be prepared for being unable to cross.
If the river is flooded, you cannot find safe entry and exit points or are unsure it’s safe, do not try to cross. Turn back or wait for the river to drop - this often takes a few hours after rain, so be ready and pack emergency shelter and extra food.
A river is unsafe if there is:
- discoloured water
- debris in the water (such as branches)
- water flowing faster than walking pace
- movement of rocks in the water you can hear
Learn more about river safety on the NZ Mountain Safety Council website.