Walks

The best way to experience the beautiful scenery and outdoors of Queenstown is to take one of the commercial walks or hikes.

There are many short walks that will enable a quick look into the towns local plants and wildlife as well as the longer world renown walks within Mt Aspiring and Fiordland National Park such as The Dart, Hollyford, Routeburn and Milford.

Ben Lomond

Length: 10 km return (5-6 hours return)

Location: Queenstown, from Lomond Terrace, via Skyline access road

Classification: Tramping Track

Initially the track passes through a mixed forest of mountain beech with several extensive intrusions of Douglas fir. This fir is of European origin and was first planted in the Wakatipu district to enhance an otherwise treeless landscape. On leaving the forest the track continues on the western side of the ridge leading to the saddle. A short distance above the bushline is an alkathene pipe. A tap in the pipeline provides water - the last source before the summit. Snow tussock grassland predominates until the Lomond Saddle is reached. Here the remains of an old Government hut lie strewn over the ground near the track. Wear strong walking shoes. Take warm clothing and wet weather gear as sudden changes in conditions are common near the summit.

One Mile Creek

Length: 2.5 km return (50 minutes return)

Location: Queenstown, from Thompson Street or One Mile Creek outlet on the lake front

Classification: Walking Track

A well-graded walk leads up this narrow gully to the old dam, once a part of Queenstown's first hydroelectric supply - the focus of the walk. For most of its length the walkway follows the line of the old water pipeline, first through heavily modified bush consisting of wineberry and fuchsia, complete with dripping ferns - an unexpected sight in Central Otago. It continues through a Douglas fir plantation before passing into silver beech forest in the gorge. The dam and pipeline were constructed in 1924 as part of an electricity generating scheme. The dam, 150 m above Lake Wakatipu, is a radius dam constructed of 250 tonnes of concrete reinforced with steel.

Queenstown Hill

Length: 4 km return (3 hours return)

Location: Queenstown, from Kent Street, 500 metres from the town centre

Classification: Walking Track

The exotic trees lining much of this walkway make it quite different from the more typical walks in New Zealand. Higher up, in an area of burnt manuka, a plaque has been laid bearing the Maori name for the hill, Te Topu-nui. The summit offers delightful views towards Coronet Peak, Lake Hayes and the Crown Range.  Evidence of glacial action can be seen on Cecil Peak in the form of deep "scratches" (striations) along the mountain slopes. Wear strong walking shoes because much of the track is on rock. Take warm clothing as protection from possible wind at the summit.

Frankton Arm

Length: 5 km each way (1.5 hours each way)

Location: Queenstown, north side of Frankton Arm. At Queenstown - end of Peninsula Street; at Frankton - north end of Frankton Recreation Reserve on lake front. An H&H Motors bus runs three times a day between Queenstown and Frankton.

Classification: Walking Track

The walk along the shore of Lake Wakatipu provides a pleasant alternative to driving from Queenstown to Frankton or vice versa. The return trip could be combined with a visit to the Kawarau Falls Dam and bridge, and a swim in the lake at the Frankton end, or with a few hours spent wandering through the Queenstown Gardens. Frankton Arm and the Remarkables provide an impressive backdrop for the entire length of the walk. The Kawarau Falls Dam was a gold mining venture that proved to be a failure. It now provides access to Kelvin Heights and carries the main highway to Kingston and Lumsden.

Kelvin Peninsula

Length: 6 km (1 to 1.5 hours one way)

Location: Queenstown, Kelvin Peninsula

Classification: Walking Track

The walkway can be commenced from either end - Willow Place at the eastern end or the golf course at the western end. The track provides a leisurely walk along the lakeside with pleasant views across the water to Queenstown and the hills behind.

Guided Nature Walks

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