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Drive Wanaka to Haast

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Wanaka to Haast
West Coast Self Drive Travel Guide.

Travel Information  Travel Facts
Distance: 145km (90 miles)
Approximately: 2 hours 20 minutes
Road Conditions: State Highway 6

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Wanaka - Makaroa - Haast Pass - Gates of Haast - Pleasant Flat - Haast

Follow State Highway 6 east from Wanaka across the Clutha River to Lake Hawea. From Lake Hawea to Haast Pass the road rises above the Lakes as we follow the western shore of Lake Hawea passing between the peaks to follow the north eastern shore of Lake Wanaka into the Makarora River Valley.

Lake Wanaka.
Lake Wanaka, Central Otago Lakes District.

There are a number of picnic/camping sites and walks through the valley. One of the best of these must be the 30 minute walk to the pools at the Blue River. At Makaroa there is a store, café and Department of Conservation (DoC) Visitor center where you can find more information about the region, Valley, walks and sights.

fuel Makarora is the last stop for fuel before heading to the Pass, if needed top the tank here.

The journey narrows as the road follows the River Valley on its climb to Haast Pass, at 563 metres this is the lowest of the three passes into the West Coast. Here the forest is dominated by Silver Beech that quickly gives way to Kamahi as we move west of the Pass.

Wanaka - Makaroa - Haast Pass - Gates of Haast - Pleasant Flat - Haast

Having crossed the Pass we follow the Haast River from its headwaters to where it meets the Landsborough before turning sharply west.

This is a region of towering peaks and steep forest clad slopes. At the Gates of Haast, a narrow and breathtaking gorge, gigantic boulders line the river bed, choking the river's passage.

A little fiurther on is the short walk to Thunder Falls before crossing the Haast River just before Pleasant Flat. On a good day the Landsborough Wilderness Area offers spectacular scenic views up the Landsborough and Clarke valleys to the peaks of the Hooker Moutnain range.

Just beyond Pleasant Flat the Haast meets the Landsborough where both river and road take that sharp turn mentioned previously. From here it is approximately 42kms to the Coast just beyond the settlement of Haast.

Wanaka - Makaroa - Haast Pass - Gates of Haast - Pleasant Flat - Haast

Haast is a small township with a small supermarket, cafés and fuel. The Visitor Centre has good information about the World Hertiage Area, and the walks in the region.

Jacksons Bay.
Jacksons Bay, South Westland.

However Haast really is a collection of three. Haast township, the Junction on SH 6 and the Coastal region south to Jacksons Bay.

The attractions here are in the wilderness and along the Coast line. A bird watchers paradise the region also includes numerous walks and excellent mountain and Coastal views along with hunting, fishing, scenic flights, nature tours, and so much more.


Welcome to Haast and the West Coast - enjoy your stay.

This Guide last Updated: April 2011


Driving Distance and Times


The distances and times within the Travel Guides are based on travel at an average of 80 to 90kmph in good weather and light to medium traffic, allowing for a break of 10 minutes from driving in each full hour.

Allow extra time for:
Sight seeing, Heavier traffic conditions, Inclement weather and any other needs you have.

There are many factors beyond the authors and our control that can and will impact upon the true distance travelled and time taken to complete any journey.

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