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Queenstown Walks and Hiking
Queenstown is an area of outstanding natural beauty and there's plenty of walks and hikes in the region where you can take in the scenery and enjoy the great outdoors. From easy tracks to multi-day hikes, there are routes suitable for most fitness levels and abilities.
The Department of Conservation has an information centre in central Queenstown and is a great hub of information. If you're going on a multi-day hike in the region, it's best to check in here for up-to-date information, weather forecasts and advice.
Make sure you are appropriately dressed for your walk and have the correct gear, snacks and water.
Our Favourite Walks in Queenstown
This steep but rewarding track offers views of the Wakatipu Basin and surrounding mountains. The track begins winding through a fir forest before clearing about two thirds of the way up. Sit and take in the views at the Basket of Dreams - a beautiful iron sculpture, before pushing on to the summit.
Difficulty: Easy but steep
Time: 1 - 2 hours return
Starting point: Belfast Terrace. Note - This track can be tricky to find! Starting from town, head up Ballarat Street, turn left onto Henry Street and right onto Malaghan Street. At the end of Malaghan Street, you'll find a stairway hidden in some trees, this leads to Kerry Drive. Walk up Kerry Drive and you'll find Belfast terrace, and the walking track start, on your right.
This full day walk puts you on top of the world! You'll get views of the surrounding mountains and on a good weather day, you can see Mt Earnslaw. The beginning of the track climbs through fir forests - stay alert as some parts of the the track are shared with downhill mountain biking tracks. At about 800m, the track clears to alpine tussock and the classic golden colours of Central Otago. The final ascent is very steep, but keep going, the views are totally worth it!
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Time: 6 - 8 hours return
Starting point: There are two options, start on the Tiki Trail at the end of Brecon Street, or begin at the Skyline Access Road. If you'd like to cheat a little bit, take the Skyline gondola to cut about an hour out of your walking time.
Sam Summers Hut
Also known as the Mt Crichton loop track, you'll see mountain beech and mānuka, rivers, a historic gold mining hut and a waterfall. This well-formed track is a great option for an active family. You can take your dog too, so long as they remain on their leash.
On the ridge, access to the Lake Dispute track is signposted
Time: 2 -4 hours
Starting point: A car park 12km south of Queenstown on the Glenorchy-Queenstown road.