The Upper Clutha River Loop takes in the Upper Clutha River Track which is on the true right of the river and the Newcastle Track which is on the true left of the river. Together they make a fantastic loop offering a great workout and unsurpassed scenery.
The trails sometimes run along the banks of the river and sometimes they climb up to terraces above the river, often quite steeply. Otherwise they are are mellow and fast.
There are eight car parks around the circuit and you can start at any of them. Most people start somewhere near the Albert Town Bridge. There is a car park off Kinniberg Street and others on the Hawea side of the bridge. If you ride out from Wanaka by the Lake Wanaka Outlet Track you just carry on down the river. Pick up the brochure "Wanaka Outdoor Pursuits" from the Wanaka Information Centre if you need to get your bearings.
There are many good rides on the loop apart from the full 44 km circuit. One good option is to ride from Albert Town down to the historic Luggate Hotel where you can enjoy a good ale and meal, then get a lift back. You could go down either side of the river. The Newcastle Track (true left of the river) is less undulating but a bit longer.
However you do it, you are going to be glad you did! This loop is a feast for your eyes and your muscles. You'll never enjoy exercise more.