Fairlight is at the end of the Mataura River valley, just off the Southern Scenic Route, about 10 km north of Garston. There is nothing there apart from a small historic rail station, with some excellent explanatory panels, that marks the end point for the tourist steam train trip from Kingston at the south end of Lake Wakatipu. It’s also a toilet break on the Around the Mountains Cycle Trail.

But the landscape backdrop to Fairlight is superb. To the east is a prominent, rocky and steep mountain face with a high point of 967 metres largely covered in golden tussock. It oddly appears to have no name of its own, but it is the start of the Eyre Mountains which run to the south and west sides of Lake Wakatipu to Mt Nicholas, and provide the main attraction for the cycle trail. To the east is the Tapuae-o-Uenuku / Hector Mountains and to the north is Trotters Plain. This is a wide, mostly flat post-glacial valley that runs up to Kingston and the south end of Lake Wakatipu.

It is pretty much a straight line along the plain, with plenty of safe places to stop for photos.

7 images

We're on Instagram

Follow Trip Ideas for more great content like this