The Remarkables are a magnificent mountain range looming over Queenstown, in New Zealand’s South Island. High up in the mountains, is a glacial lake, the aptly named Lake Alta. It is accessible via the mountain road to the ski fields. The Remarkables are not only imposing, but they are one of only two mountain ranges in the world running north to south. As a result an early surveyor Alexander Garvie named them in 1857.
The road from the Remarkables Ski Resort, leading towards Lake Alta
I’d never previously heard of the lake, but when a friend invited me to hike with her, I was keen.
From the base of the Remarkables Ski Area, we walked for about 40 minutes, following markers placed in the extreme alpine terrain. The alpine flora was beautiful. Succulent plant species seemed to thrive despite the inhospitable environment including rock, providing little in the way of nutrients and extreme winds. The walk was gradual and easy, stepping from rock to rock. If you are unsure about walking on uneven surfaces a walking pole can give you added security, and may be particularly helpful on the return journey.
Delicate alpine flora
Climbing over the last ridge, the glacial lake came into view. The muted tones of the terrain reflected on the water on this beautiful day. This short hike is a perfect summer excursion for a picnic and dip in the crystal clear waters.
Lake Alta is crystal clear and freezing
Take your bathers and enjoy a dip on a hot summers day.
High up in The Remarkables you feel on top of the world, with magnificent vistas back to Lake Wakatipu