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Pukaki Flats Walk

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The Pukaki Flats walk takes you through the grasslands of the Pukaki Flats Conservation Area. From the start of the walk 1.5 km north of Twizel on the east side of SH8, the track is quite straightforward. The track does split at some point but all roads lead to Pukaki River and back to the SH8.

This walk is flat and easy but the short tussock grasslands do not allow for any protection from the elements. Thus, it is important to set out on this walk prepared for any weather.

This track is an old 4WD track along a fence line. You can follow the 4WD track all the way to Pukaki River or you can choose either of two tracks that lead off of it. As there is only grassland in all directions, the views remain the same, as does the flatness of the track.

This route forms part of the Te Araroa trail (Long Pathway) from Twizel to Tekapo. The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail also passes through here.

It is important to follow the signposts and orange poles as this track is near or on private farmland. Keeping to the track respects the landowner’s rights.

Quick Facts

        • Location: Twizel, South Island, New Zealand
        • Time needed: 2 hour walk
        • Distance: 6 km
        • Difficulty: Easy
        • Bikes allowed: This track is shared with mountain bikes.
        • Route: Return
        • Elevation: 50 m
        • Wet Feet: No
        • Toilets: There are toilet facilities throughout Twizel.
        • Dogs: No
        • Mobile Coverage: Yes, very good
        • Last Updated: May, 2020
  • Track Highlights

    The track offers views of Lake Pukaki, Pukaki River, Ben Ohau Range and the Southern Alps/Kā Tiritiri o Te Moana.

  • Track Quality

    The track is flat and consists of tussock grassland.

  • Hazards

    Sun (no shade available)

  • Transport

    Twizel is accessible through InterCity, Newmans and the Cook Connection. It is then a 1.5 km walk north of SH8 to the start of the walk.

  • Water

    Drinking water is available throughout Twizel.

  • Driving Instructions

    The town of Twizel is located along SH8, about 11 km from Pukaki. It is a 2:30 hour drive from Queenstown and 3:45 h drive from Christchurch. The start of the walk is 1.5 km north of Twizel. It is unknown if there is a car park.

  • Shops or Restaurants nearby

    There are shops and restaurants in Twizel.

  • Area & Track History

    The town of Twizel was meant to temporarily house the construction workers of the nearby Upper Waitaki Hydroelectric Scheme. It was meant to be reverted back to farmland afterwards. Now Twizel is the largest town in the Mackenzie District. A lot of the town is made up of holiday homes so the population of the town nearly triples in summer months. Twizel is the perfect base to access the rest of the Mackenzie Region such as Mount Cook, Lake Pukaki and Lake Tekapo.

  • Camping & huts on or near the walk

    No camping on this walk

  • Best Things To Do near this walk

Map of Pukaki Flats Walk

Here is the map for Pukaki Flats Walk showing it’s location in New Zealand. You can change the view on the map to satellite if you prefer to see an image of where the walk is instead.

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