Running the trails of Mount Aspiring National Park

An hour after landing in Queenstown we find ourselves in Glenorchy, eager to explore the area. We’ve been to Glenorchy a number of times and it keeps us coming back for more. On this occasion we’re keen to head out to the Rees Track in Mount Aspiring National Park for a short trail run to get a tiny glimpse of what it has to offer.

Travel Inspired_Lake Wakatipu_20140820

First up though, breakfast and coffee at the Trading Post in Glenorchy. After fuelling up, we take the obligatory 2 minute stroll to Lake Wakatipu to absorb the view of the northern tip of the lake before heading out of town on Glenorchy-Paradise Road towards the track.Travel Inspired_Glenorchy_20140820

With the Rees River on our left and the snow-capped Southern Alps in front of us, the drive is nothing short of spectacular. We stop often to jump out of the car and take photos en route.Travel Inspired_Mount Aspiring National Park_20140820

It is just 20 kilometres from town to the Muddy Creek car park, but the latter part of the way is not the easiest of drives. The road becomes a fairly rough track with plenty of gates to keep hopping out of the car to open and close, and a number of creeks to ford. The creeks aren’t at their highest making them passable. However, that’s not to say that they didn’t present a challenge mostly due to my limited fording experience.

Eventually we arrive at Muddy Creek. Eager to abandon the car and explore on foot, we put on a couple of warm layers as it is deceptively cold outside – a quick stretch and we are away.Travel Inspired_Rees Running_20140820

The track switches from dusty dirt tracks that are fairly easy to maintain a good pace on, to rocky dried up river beds that require your full attention for every step. There is the occasional creek to navigate, some that can be crossed in one leap, whilst others are wider and deeper. The water is ice cold and feels great on the feet and legs as we stride through them.Travel Inspird_Crossing the Rees_20140820

It feels fantastic to experience a tiny piece of the wilderness that is Mount Aspiring National Park. We wind our way up the Rees River for 4 to 5 kilometres, before we decide it is getting late in the day and turn around. Feeling invigorated as we wind our way back along the shore of Lake Wakatipu in the car, arriving in Queenstown in time for dinner.

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