The Lake Hauroko Lookout Track is a steep but rewarding hike to an incredible rock viewpoint overlooking Lake Hauroko with the Foveaux Strait, and the Takitimu and Princess Mountains.

Looking to get off-the-beaten-path in New Zealand’s south island? If you’ve got a camper, then I’d highly recommend heading down to Lake Hauroko, camping at the nearby freedom camping area and taking the Lake Hauroko Lookout Track to the viewpoint to watch the sunset!

Here’s the full hiking guide for this very under-visited and underrated region of the Fjordlands.

LAKE HAUROKO VIEWPOINT AT SUNSET

RELATED: KEPLER TRACK DAY WALK AND MOUNT LUXMORE SUMMIT HIKE


How to Get to Lake Hauroko

Getting to Lake Hauroko will require your own transport. There is only one access road to Lake Hauroko, known as Lillburn Valley Road, which connects to the Clifden Highwigh closeby to the junction for Clifden Caves.

This 33KM stretch of road is gravel-based and frequently used by logging trucks. Therefore, it is usually well-maintained and most 2WD vehicles should be fine. However, you’ll need to keep an eye out for speeding trucks.

I’ve pinned the location of the car park for Lake Hauroko on the map below. If you’re having trouble finding the way, google: Lillburn Valley Road and follow it to the end.


WANT TO HIKE THE KEPLER?: Read the full Kepler Track guide


The Lake Hauroko Viewpoint Hike

Hike Length / Distance: 2-3 hours, 6.2KM in-out return
Hike Elevation: 430M elevation gain, lookout at 630M AMSL
Hike Difficulty: Moderate (fairly steep)

The hike to Lake Hauroko Viewpoint begins from the car park pinned on the map above. Near the lake foreshore, there is a signpost that points the way to the start of the hike.

The first section follows a path just within the scrub line on the edge of the lake. Near the start, there are a few small creek crossings that you’ll need to make. However, you should be able to clear them without getting wet feet using the rocks and fallen logs to hop across.

LAKE HAUROKO LOOKOUT TRACK
Lake Hauroko track

Shortly after crossing the streams, the track bends right and steepens. This section, while being steep, is very beautiful. The native forest here in the Fjordlands is different from what you might find around Queenstown or the Catlins.

There is also a fair bit of treefall along the track, so make sure to keep an eye out for the orange triangle markers that show the way.

Lake HAUROKO TRACK HIKING TRAIL

Sunset Viewpoint

After a fairly steep climb, the track breaks out into a rock clearing. This is the end of the track and is known as the Lake Hauroko Lookout. The view from here is vast and breathtaking. There are uninterrupted views of Lake Hauroko from the tock platform, as well as views of the nearby Takitimu and Princess Mountains.

We decided to leave late in order to catch the sunset behind the mountains. Remember that if you do the same, bring a headtorch so that you can find your way down.

We sat for 2 hours admiring the view before taking the track back down to the lake in the dark.

LAKE HAUROKO VIEWPOINT AT SUNSET
LAKE HAUROKO VIEWPOINT AT SUNSET

Lake Hauroko Lookout GPX File

Here is the GPX track that I recorded using my Garmin GPS watch. If you want to download the track to use on your phone or watch, you can do so by clicking the download link below.

GPX File: Download

My Strava: Visit

Lake Hauroko Camping

If you’re on a New Zealand road trip, then visiting Lake Hauroko is a great bet, since there is a freedom camping spot less than 15 minutes away.

This spot is known as Thicketburn Campground. Facilities include a bench, toilet and a fresh-water tank (non-potable). The campground is essentially a large grass clearing with plenty of spaces for campers and cars.

Just beware, the Campermate reviews mention that the ground here can be very boggy after wet weather. Also, we managed to pick up an extra passenger in the form of a small mouse here. It took us almost 3 days to get him out of the car, so keep your doors closed!

Essential New Zealand Travel Resources

How to Find Cheap Flights
Still in the planning stage of your trip? The best and easiest way to find cheap flights is to use an airfare search engine like Skyscanner.

TIP: If you’re flexible on dates, search for “Whole Month” to see a calendar result with the cheapest days to fly.

Comparing Best Deals on Accommodation
Whether you’re looking for hostels, hotels, guest houses, or resorts between Booking.com and Agoda, you’ll always get the best deals. I always search using the map feature to find accommodation in the best locations. Sometimes, if I want to stay in a place a little longer, I’ll use Airbnb.

TIP: For the best hostels, I usually compare reviews on Hostelworld, then check other booking sites to compare prices and deals.

Saving Money on Experiences and Tours
New Zealand is all about adventure and adrenaline. For the best deals on tours, adrenaline sports and experiences you’ll need to book online. I always use Klook, Viator and Get Your Guide. Booking in advance is the best way to get the best possible deals on Bungy, Milford Sound Trips and more!


Don’t Forget Adventure Travel Insurance
If you’re reading this blog then you’re more likely to be seeking adventures over poolside sips. By far, my two favorite companies for the most comprehensive adventure travel insurance is World Nomads and SafetyWing. If you’re on the fence, you can read the comparison article.

TIP: If you’re looking for a budget, reliable camper, Spaceships is a good bet. You’ll also find great car rental deals on RentalCars.com Also, make sure to download the Spaceships App, WikiCamps App, and Campermate App to find free campsites and facilities.

More New Zealand Travel Guides

I hope you found this guide to the Lake Hauroko Lookout Track useful. If you’re looking for more travel guides for New Zealand’s South Island, make sure to check out some of the links below.

A good starting point for more ideas on great hikes is this guide to the 31 Best Hikes on the South Island!

MY CAMERA AND PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT

For a list of all my recommended photography gear (including what I use and why) check out my guide to camera gear for travel.

If you’d like to use any of the photographs on this website, please visit my licensing page to find out how. I also sell professional fine-art prints, visit my Print Store or contact me directly for customs prints of any images on We Seek Travel.

LAKE HAUROKO LOOKOUT

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