Whisky Gully Waterfall Track

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Whisky Gully water fall is a five minute drive from a small farming town called Tapanui.

The falls are hidden at the base of the Blue Mountain Range, the last stunning mountain range between Central Otago and the East coast of the exciting South Island

Quick Facts about this walk

  • Location: South Island NZ
  • Distance: 2 km
  • Time needed: 2 Hour
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Wheelchair Access: No
  • Route: Double back
  • Elevation: 600m
  • Wet Feet: No
  • Toilets: Yes
  • Dogs: No
  • Mobile Coverage: Yes
  • Last Updated: November, 2019

We’ve partnered with Macpac outdoor walking & hiking gear to bring you the very best products designed exclusively for our New Zealand climate. They’ll ship for FREE within NZ on orders over $100 (if under $100 it’s only $5). Worldwide international shipping is available except to the USA. Bulky orders will be $20.

Summary points about this walk

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Points of interest along the walk​

Whisky Gully Waterfall Car Park

As you can see the car park is not small. It was a cool day, 17 degrees, parking the van in the sun was a good move. The van was like an oven when we finished the walk. The start of the track is easy to find at the top end of the car park.
The Toilet is back down the road, you pass the toilets 100 Mt before the car park. Take the track into the bush, the track on your right goes up to the Blue Mountain Walk.

Whisky Gully Waterfall

It was a cool morning and even colder in the bush and out of the sun, so we took off at a good pace to keep warm.
The track was wide and easy to walk on. But we were stumped after crossing the first walk bridge, Left or Right fork??? NO arrow pointing to for Whisky Falls. Which one do we take, the old or the new track. We took the left fork, the old track, five minutes later we crossed the second foot bridge and bumped into the new track to our right, the short cut.

Now the fun starts, the goat track. I like goat tracks, I start to daydream when walking on Queen Street foot paths. The first tricky section on the walk was soon in front of us. This was a 2 Mt climb up a slippery slab of rocky along side the creek, one slip and you take a swim in the freezing water. A pair of good hard sole boots would have made this climb a little easier. There was not one good hand and foot holes on this rock, so no rushing, three points of contact at all times.

As we walk higher up Whisky Gully Waterfall Track we run in to small clumps of Stinging Nettle. At first on the flat section of track, the nettle was only knee high. On the steeper section of the nettle was growing on the banks at just the right height to catch you on the bear arms as you walked past. The walking sticks came in very handy to either break the branches off before walking past or push them to the side. At the end of the day I was stung on the calf muscle and Sandra was stung on the arm.

The next rocky climb was not as bad as the first one, on the way back we took the old tack around the rocks, it was a lot easier. Then we hit the sign to Black Gully 5 Hours and Smithie’s Spur 2 Hours, we were five minutes from the falls.
When we approached Whisky Gully Waterfall we were above the creek, I was expecting to walk out of the bush and to be looking up at the falls, but today we were looking down to the falls, now we had to climb down the alloy ladder and on to another lot slippery rock to reach the creek to take photos.

I must say I enjoyed being back in the bush again, I have spent a lot of time mountain biking up above the snow line around Millers Flat and Roxburgh, where we now live. It wont be long before the winter snow will chase me back down into the Teviot valley.

What sort of walking and hiking gear will you need

We’ve partnered with Macpac outdoor walking & hiking gear to bring you the very best products designed exclusively for our New Zealand climate. They’ll ship for FREE within NZ on orders over $100 (if under $100 it’s only $5). Worldwide international shipping is available except to the USA. Bulky orders will be $20.

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