Our Little Adventure to Lindis Pass Lookout
October 8, 2018
Driving along State Highway 8, you will find yourself climbing up through Lindis Pass. But don’t just drive through and enjoy the view from the car window, get out and explore! When we were there we ventured a little further than most, this is a guide to how to get the best views at Lindis Pass Lookout!
Lindis Pass Lookout
Lindis Pass is a mountain pass where the surrounding mountains and hills are all covered in tussock grass. Tussock grass is long yellowish grass that grows in these higher altitudes in New Zealand. With all of this grass covering every inch of the mountains, it makes for a really unique landscape unlike anywhere else in New Zealand. While you must drive through Lindis pass to get between Wanaka/Queenstown and Mount Cook/Lake Tekapo, it is bound to be a highlight of your journey!
The last time we drove through Lindis Pass we didn’t just drive through, we actually parked the van and did a little hike and to our surprise, we were rewarded with even better views!
This blog is our guide to enjoying Lindis Pass.
Where is Lindis Pass?
Lindis Pass is on State Highway 8 between Omarama and Tarras. State Highway 8 is most commonly driven by people travelling between Queenstown (or nearby towns) and Lake Tekapo. It starts about 18 km South of Omarama.
Lindis Pass Road is approximately 60 km long.
At the highest point along Lindis Pass, there is a sign-marked lookout. This lookout is at 971m above sea level!
On the side of the road, there is a car parking lot for visitors to get out and enjoy the scenery of Lindis Pass. It is signposted as “Lindis Pass Lookout.” From the car park, there are two short trails to viewing decks.
This lookout is actually right next to the state border between Otago and Canterbury.
I highly recommend pulling over and having a good look around. But, if you are feeling a little more adventurous don’t stop there…
Our Little Adventure
Being curious about what the view would be like from up high, we ventured off the marked trail and climbed one of the hills! What we saw from the top was well worth the climb to say the least!
From the car park, we took the trail on the left-hand side. From there, you can see a trail made simply from people always walking there, heading up the hill to the right. The catch is that you do have to go over (or under) the small fence.
Note* In no way are we encouraging people to jump the fence. This is a story of what WE did, if you follow our adventure, do so at your own risk.
There were no signs warning us not to go, and it was very, very clear that many people go venturing up the hill (a trail has been formed because of all the people walking this way and the fence was all bent to make it easy for people to go through.) Our curiosity got the best of us and we just had to check it out!
The hike up the hill is very short and could be done in 10-15 minutes but it is steep. Watch your step and take it slow if you are getting tired.
When I was hiking up I was so focused on walking that I didn’t even look back behind me at the view. So when I stopped finally and had a look I was astounded!
From the top I saw all of the grass-covered mountains for miles and miles and then behind them, I could see snow-covered peaks. The view was so much better than I expected!
I’m not sure why this area hasn’t been made into a properly managed trail as I’m sure everyone would love to see this view. But for now, its fenced off and a little less accessible. But, if like us, your curious of what you can see from up on the hill then you will have to do a little fence jumping.