Mount Iron Loop Track Walk

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Mount Iron Loop Track Walk is a 6.5km medium walk that will take you around 2 hours in a nice loop around the base then up to the top of Mt Iron. This great short walk gives you 360 degree views at the top. Mt Iron Is just ten minutes walk from Wanaka’s shopping centre. At 545 meters you will not miss Mt Iron Scenic Reserve and you will enjoy the fantastic views of Lake Wanaka, Hawea and Mount Aspiring National Park. This walk can be a bit steep in parts.

Quick Facts

        • Location: Central Otago
        • Distance: 6.50 kms
        • Time needed: 2 Hours
        • Difficulty: Medium
        • Wheelchair Access: No
        • Route: Round Trip
        • Elevation: 545m
        • Wet Feet: No
        • Toilets: Yes
        • Dogs: Leash only
        • Mobile Coverage: Yes
        • Last Updated: November, 2019
  • Track Highlights


  • Track Quality

    The track was 1.5m wide and a good workout to get to the top. But every meter of the track is clay, no gravel. So I would not like to be walking on this track after a day of rain,unless you are wearing rugby boots.

  • Hazards


  • Transport


  • Water


  • Driving Instructions


  • Shops or Restaurants nearby


  • Area & Track History

    When you are driving into Wanaka shopping center you will drive past Mt Iron on your right. The Scenic Reserve was set up in 1905, 33 hectares were added to the reserve in 1993 making up the grand total of 53 hectares. Mr Robert Wilkin named the rock, Mt Iron after Ironhurst in Scotland. Wanaka was originally named Pembroke  back in 1900. Pembroke had a population of 130 people and survived on farming, saw milling, gold mining and tourism.  In 1940 Pembroke changed its name to Wanaka.

  • Best Things To Do near this walk

  • Map location of Mount Iron Loop Track Walk

    Map of walk

Points of interest along the walk

In the map above, if you zoom in on the walk, you’ll see all the following track points and their location. Each point has photos along with a description about each one.

Point 1: Starting point of Mt Iron Scenic Reserve walk

We had an almost perfect day if it was not for the freezing wind, the track was very easy to find, just jump over the fence and follow the markers. The first problem we had within minutes of starting off was the wind, it was so strong it was blowing the dirt from the extra dry track into our faces, then we had every dog owner in Wanaka out walking his or her dog. Yes the dogs had to be on a leads. So don’t walk the track before nine o’clock in the morning, wait for them to go home.

Point 2: Halfway up Mt Iron Scenic Reserve

Because of the rabbit problem there was no grass, just weeds and scrub and a truck load of rabbit droppings. As we started to climb Mt Iron the wind picked up ten fold, it was trying to blow us off the rock, and to top it off the sun disappeared behind the clouds, now I was freezing, talk about not being prepared.

Point 3: Mt Iron Scenic Reserve Summit

The views on the top of Mt Iron of Lake Wanaka town and the lake made up for the freezing wind and covered in dust. We did not stop for long on the summit, just long enough to spot Lake Hawea and Mount Aspiring National Park and read up on the history of Wanaka, then we dived over the back of Mt Iron to get out of the freezing wind.

Point 4: Heading down

Heading down was very good, we were out of the wind and walking through patches of Manuka bush as we descended to the base of Mt Iron and the welcoming warm sun . It was a good decision to walk around Mt Iron in a clockwise direction. The Northern side is a lot steeper and in a couple of places the fine dirt made the track very slippery.

Point 5: Heading back to the start

Walking back around the base was a piece of cake, not a lot to see but dog dropping and a couple of cuddly rabbits.

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