Bonnie Jean Day Hut with Heather Jock Hut
- Duration: 4-6hr return, plus up to 3 hours to Heather Jock Hut
- Best time to go: summer months
- Starting/Finish Point: Whakaari Conservation Area carpark, 2km south of Glenorchy on the Glenorchy-Queenstown Rd.
- Difficulty: Intermediate to Bonnie Jean and advanced to Heather Jock
- Bike: Yes, intermediate grade 3
- Horse riding is also possible on this track
For a half-day hut fix (backcountry huts are pretty photogenic after all) put the Bonnie Jean day hut on your hit-list. The trail starts off gently up Mt Judah Road, ambling up the northern side of Mt Judah. After passing some relics of Queenstown’s gold mining past, you’ll come to a junction around 1.5 hours from the start of the track. Continue along to the end of Judah Road, and follow the marked track up to the Bonnie Jean Hut.
With more time up your sleeve and camera battery left, tack on another couple of hours and head further up to the Heather Jock Hut. This trail is steep and this hut sleeps up to six in bunks on a first come, first served basis.
Know before you go
The Whakaari tracks are alpine and exposed: changeable weather, extreme temperatures, strong winds, snow and ice are possible at any time of year. Not recommended during winter months or unfavourable conditions.
Streams may flood at any time of year due to rain or snow melt and should not be crossed in flood.
Dangerous mine tunnels are present and may be hidden by vegetation. Do not enter tunnels.