Queenstown is an adventure-lovers dream destination. With so many paid tourism activities on offer it’s nice to do something that is free. The views from the walks in Queenstown are usually breathtaking filled with panoramic vistas of mountain ranges. Discover some of the best walks in Queenstown, Otago below to try on your trip!
* All of the walks mentioned below are a couple of hours- full day treks.
1. Ben Lomond Summit
One of the biggest Queenstown hikes on this list but well worth it for panoramic views over the Queenstown region and surrounding mountains. The hike starts in a pine forest and opens up to scrub and epic views!
It is a pretty big uphill climb so you will need to be relatively fit to complete the hike. It is definitely not beginner-friendly. In winter you will need to know what you are doing and have alpine gear.
If you do not want to go all the way to the summit then the saddle is another good option and 3-4 hours return.
Distance: 11km return via the same track.
The Ben Lomond hike Queenstown has 1438m elevation gain meaning it is a slog!
Access: Bobs Peak at the top of the Queenstown Gondola.
You can either enjoy a ride up the gondola or try to park at the free parking on the Skyline Access Road and walk from there. However, there is limited parking so you might have to park down on Lomond Cresent and walk from there. It is better to take the Tiki Trail to avoid getting lost.
The most popular way to access the hike is from the Tiki Trail which is a 2.1km uphill walk from the gondola base on Brecon Street.
It depends how long you want the walk to take but I suggest taking the gondola or doing the Tiki Trail!
Check out more information on the Department of Conservation website here.
2. Mt Crichton
A beautiful loop track in the forest. It is a rich history of gold mining in the gorge as you will see when you pass the iconic Sam Summer’s hut. You can walk through and stay in it. It was a hut that Sam Summers lived in during the gold mining era and there are wee relics to admire.
Enjoy beech forest, waterfalls, gullies and a rewarding view of Lake Wakatipu at the top.
It is also dog friendly!
Distance: 2.5 hours
Access: 12km down Glenorchy-Queenstown Road, look for the sign and carpark!
3. Queenstown Hill
An iconic hike that is definitely worth doing! It is not far from the CBD and is a beautiful trail through pine forest to open a tussock covered hilltop. It is probably one of the most popular walks in Queenstown. It is an awesome walking option to see all of Queenstown’s famous landmarks from above! Including the Remarkables mountain range, Lake Wakatipu and the city.
It is a relatively easy hike and well-maintained mainly switchback track.
And it is an awesome track to do at sunrise!
Distance: 2 hours return
600m elevation gain
Via a small car park on Belfast Terrace. There is only space for 5 cars but there is plenty of street parking. You can also walk from the CBD.
4. Bobs Cove
One of my favourite short walks in Queenstown because of the picture-perfect water! It feels like a tranquil little cove away from the hustle and bustle of Queenstown but is only 14km away!
The water here is breathtakingly clear and blue and is best admired from the jetty!
3km, 20 minutes to do the loop.
You can connect this walk to the 12 Mile Delta Track (another 3km one way) if you like otherwise it is only 20 minutes.
14km down Glenorchy- Queenstown Road, look for the sign and carpark.
5. Lake Alta
This was a Lord of The Rings filming location! It is an absolutely stunning glacier lake from The Remarkables ski area in the Remarkables Conservation area. It is not one of the well-known walks around Queenstown but it doesn’t mean it is any less beautiful!
During the winter it is a popular spot accessed by skiers and snowboarders but during summer the scenery changes and you can see the glacier lake. I recommend taking your time and packing a picnic to enjoy the views.
It is not that steep and not very long so it is family friendly. 45 minutes – 1 hour 30 minutes.
The hike starts at the Remarkables ski field buildings. Look for the ‘public walking access’ sign.
There you have it! A quickfire list of 5 the best walks in Queenstown. They range in distance and difficulty but if you have time try to tick off as many as you can. If I had to pick one and only one I would recommend Queenstown Hill because of the panoramic views!
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