There are many hiking route in the South Island. There is always one which fits individual request. One of Wanaka’s most popular short walks which provides spectacular 360 degree panoramic views is the Mount Iron hiking route. It is supposed to be an easy walk.
The track starts from a car park off SH84 (the main road into Wanaka from the east), just 2 km from town oppositing Puzzling World. Shortly after we started our walk we had to walk up into private farmland along a little dirt track. Then we reached reach the climbing up point. In the following 40 minutes there was no flat parts along the walk but a straight up hill route. I wasn’t prepare for the situation and didn’t consider this route to be an easy one. My legs were ache and my body sweated. We tried to reduce the weight of our rucksack by drinking our water. The way up is quite steep but not difficult.
Finally after around 45 minutes we were on the top. We were rewarded with the most amazing 360 degree views of Wanaka. In a clear day you could see all the different mountain ranges, the Southern Alps in one direction and Pisa Range in another direction. Looking at all of Wanaka spread out below and views of Lake Wanaka from the Mount Iron summit the it was certainly worth to hike up here.
On the way down on the other side it was not easy either. Several places were not quite safe. We needed to pay extra attention to those places. It took us nearly two hours to complete the walk loop. Being steep both up and down hills, I would not rate it for an easy walk.