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Where to Hike in Queenstown

Sometimes you need to earn the treat. Whether it’s downing a skinful of cocktails, scoffing caviar and doughnuts, or just painting the town red in general, it’s nice to know you’ve done some sort of hard work prior to being gluttonous. A simple way to do that is to hike.

Queenstown’s surrounds are remarkably diverse, making it the ideal place to stretch the legs and take an inspiringly cheesy ‘Ready for whatever 2018 may bring’ Instagram pic while gazing out at a mountainous horizon.

There is a wide variety of spectacular hiking trails in Queenstown to choose from, ranging from short scenic walks to day trips and multiple-day rambles. We look at the best hikes in Queenstown.

Queenstown Hill

This moderate loop track starts directly from downtown and leads you to one of the most photogenic places in a town filled with photogenic places. Bring a picnic to eat at the Basket of Dreams lookout and then roll home.

Duration: 2-3 hours

Start: 15 minute walk away from town centre on Belfast Street

Moke Lake Loop

The popular U-shaped path around Moke Lake is an easy-moderate walk that meanders through grasslands and it’s contrasted by the surrounding monolithic mountains. Trippy mirror lake reflections are the photography goal here.

Duration: 2 hours

Start: Drive towards Glenorchy and on to Moke Lake Road

Moonlight Track

A challenging advanced day hike that brings you past the Ben Lomond Saddle. The is the option of hitting the summit Ben Lomond, Sefferstown (an old mining town), the remains of the old Moke Creek stone school (dating back to the 1880s), and along huge gold rush sites.

Duration: 4 hours (one way) – 14km

Trailhead: Start from central Queenstown

Tiki Trail

This winding trail is a good way to see one of the best views in town and check out the tourist activities, like Zip Trekkers and mountain bikers. And if you’re too puffed when you get to the top, jump on the gondola, and kick back.

Duration: 45 minutes-1.5 hours depending on your legs

Start: The base of the gondola 

Ben Lomond

A physically demanding, but hugely rewarding hike. The reward is definitely worth the struggle. From the summit you get a stunning 360 degree view of the Wakatipu Basin, Lake Wakatipu, The Remarkables mountain range, Cecil Peak and Walters Peak. A giant step up from the Tiki Trail.

Duration: 5-7 hours

Start:  Take the gondola up to Bob’s Peak

Bob’s Cove

A very easy, very short and very sweet stroll along the shoreline of Lake Wakatipu. Bob’s Cove is very picnic-able, very sunset-able and kind of swim-able … if you’re not scared of chilly water.

Duration: 30-45 minutes

Start: 15 minutes drive away from town centre towards Glenorchy

words by niall roeder


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