If you like walking or hiking then Queenstown is a great place to visit. This popular New Zealand holiday destination may be famous for all the adrenaline activities in Queenstown (of which there are loads) but it's also a stunning place to go for a walk surrounded by mountains overlooking Lake Wakatipu. I've put together some of the best Queenstown walks and hikes in the area. Some are fairly short, others are a bit longer, all include stunning scenery.
Before heading off on any walking or hiking trip make sure you check the weather first. Make sure you're wearing sensible footwear, are wearing appropriate clothing, have some water with you, maybe some snacks and always tell someone where you're going and what time you expect to be back.
The Best Queenstown Walks & Hiking Trails
This walk is not one of the easiest walks, but it's one of the most popular. It's very steep right until the top but is definitely worth it. Although it should take you between 2.5 and 3 hours return it's very easy to make this walk much longer if you keep on stopping to take in the views and take pictures! There are signs to stop at telling you about the history of the different places you pass by, which includes the Maori settlements, the gold rush and the development of Queenstown into the Adventure Capital of the World.
You have amazing views over Queenstown, the Remarkables, Range, upper Kawarau River, Cecil Peak, Frankton, the south arms of Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown Bay.
This might be a 4 hour walk but it's a nice, easy walking track with views of Lake Wakatipu and the mountains. This is a really good track for mountain bikers as well.
Kelvin Peninsula Walkway
If the Jack's Point walk isn't quite enough walking for you then you can carry on along the Kelvin Peninsula Walkway which will take you back to your starting point.
Tiki Trail to Bob's Peak
The Tiki Trail is the free, but tougher, way to get up to Skyline Queenstown. You'll be rewarded with beautiful views from the top and can even take some time out to enjoy the Luge track before heading back into town (either by walking or take a Gondola).
One Mile Creek Walk
Starting at One Mile Roundabout follow the old pipeline by the creek to see the old dam which used to supply the water for Queenstown. Along this track you're likely to see and hear plenty of native birds like the Tui.
Ben Lomond (Saddle & Summit)
Depending on quite how early you set off and how energetic you're feeling, you can choose to walk to the Ben Lomond Saddle or carry on to the summit. You'll need to be prepared for a long day whichever you choose, especially if you plan on taking a rest every now and then. Start at the bottom of the Tiki Trail and keep going. The views are worth it.
This is a very picturesque walk along the shores of Lake Wakatipu. The walk starts just a short distance out of the city centre along the Esplanade and just past One Mile Roundabout. You'll have great views of the Remarkables and will probably see the TSS Earnslaw passing by on this easy walk.
Mt Crichton Loop Track
This is a great walk with the historic Sam Summers Hermit Hut at the end. This track takes you through native bush, past a waterfall and rivers and is stunning. Head 12km out of town on the Queenstown - Glenorchy Road to find the car park and start of the Loop Track. It's a 2 - 4 hour easy walk.
Lake Hayes Walkway
A 10 - 15 minute drive past Frankton will get you to Lake Hayes and a lovely easy and scenic walk surrounded by mountains. Give yourself 2 - 3 hours to complete this at an easy pace.
Bob's Cove Track
This is a nice and easy short walk which only takes 20 minutes one way. You'll need to drive to the starting point which is 15km from Queenstown on the Queenstown - Glenorchy Road. Head through native bush, listening out for native birds and arrive at Bob's Cove where you can take a refreshing dip in the water.
Lake Alta Track
You'll need to head out to The Remarkables ski field for this one. Once at the ski buildings follow the road to the top of the Alta Chairlift and then keep your eyes peeled for flagstones and cairns which lead the way to a beautiful glacial lake. This is an hour and a half walk for the more advanced trampers.
Moke Lake Loop
Moke Lake... a beautiful lake where you can find true peace and quiet. The only things you can hear are some sheep that are scared to come down from the steep hills or you might meet some locals that are taking their family out on their boat. The water is so clear that you can see everything, so watch out if you are planning a swim totally naked!
Frankton Arm Walkway
An extremely popular walk along the lakeside with lake and mountain views. It'll take you around 1 and a half hours one way and is particularly nice on a sunny but not overly hot day.
If all of the above walks in Queenstown sound a bit too energetic for you, why not head to Queenstown Gardens and just take a slow leisurely walk around. Or if you really want you can play frisbee golf!
As you can see there are plenty of walks in Queenstown for people of all abilities. Have fun exploring Queenstown on foot!