This Central Otago track heads north along the side of Lake Dunstan from Old Cromwell Town. It has two options; a shorter 5 km, 1.5 hour circuit or a longer 19 km, 5 hour walk to Lowburn and back. Both options are graded easy and are suitable for walking or biking.
The track heads out of the Old Cromwell Town area towards the Junction Lookout. Before the lake was created in the 1990’s this was the confluence of the Clutha and Kawerau rivers and the old bridge that spanned the Clutha is now in front of this lookout, submerged by the lake. Continuing north along Alpha Street and follow the narrow track behind the Bowling Club building to continue along the lakeside. After crossing under the Deadmans Point Bridge the main body of the lake will be in view. From here the track is very exposed to sometimes strong north-westerly winds that blow down the lake but the scenery is most rewarding.
The short track heads back up to the Dunstan View car park and picnic area about a half kilometer from the bridge. Cross the highway and head back to Old Cromwell Town via Alpha Street and the first part of the track you started on.
The longer walk continues along the shoreline through McNulty Inlet and ends beside the lake at the Lowburn Collie Club. At the Lowburn Peninsular, cross the main highway and skirt the inlet to the relocated hall and church. The 1930’s concrete Lowburn bridge still exists under the lake and plaques from that bridge are now on the Lowburn Hall. Follow the track around the inlet to the lake for the final section past the 45th parallel marker to the Collie Club.
This is a most pleasant walk or bike featuring the extensive plantings done as part of the lake and dam formation project. These were established with irrigation and are now providing welcome shade from the hot Central Otago sun. Return the way you came along the lake shore to Dunstan View and Alpha Street before returning to Old Cromwell Town.