Warning: This track involves multiple river crossings. Rivers here may flood at any time of year due to rain or snowmelt and should not be crossed in flood. How to cross a river safely.
This track starts at the Whakaari Conservation Area carpark and finishes on the Queenstown/Glenorchy Road beside the Buckler Burn.
Time: 3 to 4 hr
Walk up the well formed Mt Judah Track to the junction turnoff, this takes around 1 hour 30 minutes. Follow the marked track steeply down to the Buckler Burn.
High water levels at Buckler Burn: If high water levels at Buckler Burn make it impassable, you should turn back and return the way you have come.
After Buckler Burn you go up a steep zig-zag up an old mining road leads to McIntyre Hut.
Time: 2 hr
Follow the marked track traversing above Long Gully Stream to the Long Gully Saddle. From here it’s about another 30 minutes to McIntosh Hut at 1464 m elevation.
Time: 3 to 4 hr
To continue on the loop track, return back to the saddle and climb another old mining track to the ridge. Follow this ridge for another hour, with superb views of Lake Wakatipu, Mt Earnslaw/Pikirakatahi, and the Dart Valley. You then drop down a very steep unformed track along a fence line to a water race above the Buckler Burn.
High water levels at Buckler Burn: If high water levels at Buckler Burn make it impassable, you should turn back and return the way you have come – be prepared for a long walk back if you have come down the true right of the McIntosh Loop.
The race is followed before dropping back to the Queenstown-Glenorchy Road, five minutes north of the carpark.
Turn to the right off the Queenstown-Glenorchy Road, 2 km before Glenorchy, to reach the Whakaari Conservation Area car park.
Use NZTopo50 map sheet CB10.
Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date and time to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.