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The Blue Pools are a major tourist high light when driving through the Southern Alps from Lake Wanaka to Haast Pass. The walk to the Blue Pools will take you 30mins one way down a nice walking track. The pools really are very blue and worth taking a look at. No drones allowed either.

Quick Facts

•  Location: South Island NZ
•  Distance: 1 km
•  Time needed: 1 Hour
•  Difficulty: Easy
•  Wheelchair Access: No
•  Route: Double back
•  Elevation: 360m
•  Wet Feet: No
•  Toilets: No
•  Dogs: No
•  Mobile Coverage: No
•  Last Updated: November, 2019

  • Track Highlights

    The melting snow from Mt Eye Tooth 1934 m, Mt Stuart 1860 m, Actor 1839 m, flow down the Blue River as well as the North and South Branch to form the Blue Pools at 360m.

  • Track Quality

    The track is excellent. It is a 30 minute, 20m downhill walk to the Makaroa river and the first swing bridge. Then a short board walk to the second swing bridge which spans the Blue Pools. If you have plenty of time you could take the track up to the Young Valley, 1.5 Hours one way.

  • Hazards

    Parking can be an issue, try and drive through in the morning, not mid-afternoon. With the crowds of tourists on the walk to the Blue Pools, you will not enjoy a quiet walk through the native bush, just so you can listen to the native bell birds sing, for your pleasure.

  • Transport


  • Water

    No water unless you drink out of the Makarora River, when you cross the first swing bridge. No toilets. The first toilet is at Makaroa Petrol stop and Cafe, 8 Km before the Blue Pools,or another 1Km drive past the Blue Pools.

  • Driving Instructions

    This is a pleasant 70Km drive west from Wanaka, on the way to the Haast Pass on the West Coast. Followed by a 30 minute walk to the Blue Pools. The drive to the Blue Pools is very interesting. You start off from down town Wanaka, and drive to Lake Hawea. Follow Lake Hawea then cross up and over the saddle and drop back down to Lake Wanaka. The last twenty minutes of the drive is up the Makaroa valley to the Blue Lake. There are signs stating you have a 5Km to drive to the Blue Lake, then 2Km left. All the parking is on the right-hand side of the road. Don’t forget there are no toilets at the Blue Pools.

  • Shops or Restaurants nearby


  • Area & Track History


  • Best Things To Do near this walk

  • Map location of The Blue Pools

    Map of walk

The Blue Pools Car park

You should see the 2Km left to reach the Blue Pools sign. The car park is on your right if you are travelling from Wanaka, the walkway is on your Right.

The first swing bridge

The 30 minutes walk to the Blue Pools is on a very good level wide gravel surface. You could push a pram to the first swing bridge but getting up on to the first swing bridge will be a challenge.

The Blue Pools

Just before you reach the swing bridge over the Blue Pools there is a good track leading down to the Makaroa River on your Left hand side of the track, with better views of the Blue Pools and the swing bridges.
If you have time up your sleeve, you can walk over the second swing bridge and walk 1.5 Km the Young Valley, this track is not so easy.

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