Spring is the perfect time to get walking in Queenstown, the weather is mild and the views are stunning. Here are our favourite six day-walking trails in Queenstown.
Behind Koura Apartments is the famous Queenstown Hill which offers breath-taking views of the Wakatipu basin and Queenstown Bay. The Queenstown Hill Loop Track to the lookout spot ‘Basket of Dreams’ is a moderate three-hour walk that starts and finishes on Belfast Street, a 15-minute walk from Koura Apartments.
Instead of taking the Skyline Gondola, challenge yourself with this steep 45-minute climb leading to the Skyline. Although steep, there are carved timber chairs along the way as well as staircases with railings. If you’re lucky you might even come across some mountain goats. The track starts to the left of the gondola base station, a 12-minute walk from Koura Apartments.
Ben Lomond Track
If you’re in for a bigger challenge, continue from the Tiki Trail to the Ben Lomond summit or saddle. Expect a very steep trail along exposed ridgelines with panoramic views gracing the entire route. Despite the ease of access, this is a serious climb up a major peak. Be prepared for changeable conditions. Be prepared for snow and ice above the bush line from April to November. In clear weather the views are wildly impressive, and just keep getting better as you go higher. When you’ve soaked in the epic views long enough, retrace your steps the way you came. You can take the gondola back to base once you reach the Skyline Gondola.
The easiest and shortest trail on our list is Bob’s Cove. This is a pleasant 40-minute nature walk around the shoreline of Lake Wakatipu to a picturesque lookout on to crystal clear turquoise water. The flora here had such tropical vibes with all of the moss and tall trees. In summer you can take your swimmers as there are plenty of opportunites to jump in if you’re brave in cold waters! Bob’s Cove track is a 17 minute drive from Koura Apartments.
Mt Crichton Loop Track
A local’s favourite, the three-hour loop walk to Sam’s Summer Hut features rivers, a waterfall, a historic hut/tunnel, native bush, views of Lake Dispute and glimpses of Lake Wakatipu. This area was mined off and on between the 1860s and the 1930s and the walk provides a fascinating glimpse of life as a gold prospector. The track starts from a car park 12 km from Queenstown on the Glenorchy – Queenstown Road, a 15-minute drive from Koura Apartments.
This is 4-hour one-way charming trail has steady grades and awesome views. The well-defined trail starts at Moke Lake and follows the historic route into the Moonlight goldfields to Arthurs Point. Or you can start at the Queenstown end of the track and catch the Skyline gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak. From here follow the path to the Ben Lomond saddle, and from here a series of poles mark the track to Sefferstown then onto Arthur’s Point. The Moonlight Track is not a loop, so transport will be required to get you home. The Arthur’s Point entry to Moonlight Track is an 8-minute drive from Koura Apartments.
Ensure you are well prepared and safe
Some of the tracks in and around Queenstown may take you through an alpine environment that requires experience and appropriate equipment. If you’re not taking a guided trip, make sure you do your research and are well equipped with information and the appropriate gear. The Department of Conservation (DOC) website is a great source of track information and the latest trail conditions, you can also visit them at the DOC information centre in downtown Queenstown. You can find out more about safely hiking in New Zealand in the Adventure Smart website.