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Level: Beginner
Length: 12 mi (19.3 km)
Surface: Doubletrack
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: +2,272/ -1,120 ft
Total: 14 riders

Mountain Biking Hawea River Track

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#58 of 387 mountain bike trails in New Zealand
#5,536 in the world

The Hawea River is only about 10 kilometres (6 miles) long. It flows out of Lake Hawea and joins the Clutha River just below the Albert Town Bridge where this track starts. The track follows the river upstream to the small town of Hawea which is on the edge of the lake.

It's a very pleasant "family-scenic" style of ride on a wide all-weather track with enough undulation to give a reasonable workout and the panoramic views are stunning.

If you want to extend the ride, you can carry on along the edge of the lake past the town for several kilometres. That's also a good wide undulating track called the Gladstone Track with expansive views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

Be sure to stop at the Hawea store - there is only one - where you can get a delicious hokey-pokey ice-cream in a cone. There is a pub just down the road if you prefer beer.

The ride back down the river is more fun since you're going down so if you only ride the trail one way, start at Hawea.

Wanaka is spoilt for choice with this kind of family-scenic trail. The Glendhu Bay Track, the Lake Wanaka Outlet Trail, and the Upper Clutha River Loop are even more spectacular - but without the ice-cream!

Text by jimcummings

First added by Ginny_Tory on May 14, 2013. Last updated Apr 28, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: yes
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: yes
  • Fat bike grooming: yes
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
From downtown Wanaka you can ride out to this track by taking the Lake Wanaka Outlet Track to the bridge over the Clutha River. Alternatively you can drive out through Albert Town. Whether you get here by bike or by car, cross the bridge and turn right in 50 metres into the Albert Town Recreation Reserve which is right opposite the Albert Town Campground.
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Hawea River Track Trail map

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Local Info

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rwm67 (on Oct 31, 2022)
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Trail conditions

Dry (on Feb 8, 2020)
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Easiest | 15 mi
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Rider questions

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  • fergnago

    stunning views and pleasant riding for all abilities

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  • Jim Cummings

    The track sometimes runs beside the river, sometimes on terraces above it. It's a very pleasant 20 km ride there and back with great views - best on a sunny day. It's popular with walkers.

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  • Ginny_Tory

    A flow-y, easy ride. Not technical or difficult at all, so it's a good place for beginners or people who just want a nice calming ride along the river. There are some rock patches, but they're easy enough. If you want a little more excitement out of the track, just go faster. The rider has some great views and a fun swing bridge crossing.

    Reply | Thank