Mount Iron above Wanaka in New Zealand is one of my favourite hikes. One of those wonderful walks that gives you the exhiliration of reaching a summit and the joy of gaining altitude with a view, very close to a town and only a short hike.
Mount Iron sits behind the Wanaka town centre and frames the town which has mountains on three sides and lake on the other. The hike itself can take anywhere between 40 mins and 1.5 hours depending on your pace.
Starting in the car park on the main road or off Mt Iron Drive, you start off with a steep incline up well made switch backs. Height is gained quickly and before long you are looking down to the rooftops below and the surrounding lake. After a series of sheep ascents the track flattens and heads inland to the summit marker with amazing 360 degree views over the entire area.
There is an option to walk off the backside of the mount for a loop track past the local rock climbing crags, however, the view is so good from the front that the up and back route is recommended.
All up the walk is only about 3kms and not to be missed. Try it at different times of day to enjoy the different lights dancing off the valley, lake and mountains.