With the forecast for heavy rain and high winds still in effect for Central Otago it is prudent to have a Plan B.The alternate Leg 4 from Wanaka to Cromwell will be via the Crown Range and Gibbston Valley should the weather not improve.
This route was marginally favoured over the Queenstown option as it avoided waiting for a boat, and returned to the original course quicker. It also maintains options for those who wish/need to shortcut sections.
The only drawback of the route is a 300 metre section at Gentle Annie Bluff. NZTA have chosen to erect centreline road barriers after several incidents with drivers crossing the road centreline. Great option to protect drivers from themselves but profoundly stupid on the part of NZTA as they provided no options for cyclists to safely use the route. Please be extra careful on this section. There is little room to maneuver on an already narrow road.
The route is:
Follow the Crown Range Road out of Wanaka to the Cardrona Valley and up over Crown Saddle
Drop down to Crown Flats and hang a right into Glencoe Road and then left onto Tobins Track to Arrowtown
Leaving Arrowtown, follow the Arrow River Bridges Trail (back down the Arrow River) out towards the Kawerau River
After crossing State Highway 6 keep an eye out for the left turn to Gibbston River Cycle Trail
Stay on the Cycle Trail till it runs out before Nevis Bluff and then join State Highway 6 to CromwellThe GPX and Cue Sheet for the Alternate Leg 4 Wanaka to Cromwell can be found at the following links.
Alternate Leg 4 Wanaka to Cromwell GPX File
Cue Sheet for Alternate Leg 4 Wanaka to Cromwell
Fingers crossed we won't need it and the weather improves!