The Best Queenstown Hikes! 9 Walks You Need to Do!

The Best Queenstown Hikes! 9 Walks You Need to Do!

Queenstown offers so many activities for the adventurous, it can be hard to pick what to do. Getting out on a hike is one of the best ways to take in a destinations scenery. Its cheap to do and affords you a experience the majority of travellers will miss.

Read on for the best hikes around Queenstown you need to experience! You’ll find the trailhead and start locations on the handy map at the bottom of the post!


1. Queenstown Hill

Best Queenstown Hikes Queenstown Hill

Photo by Pim Shiatosa

The most popular hike straight from Queenstown’s town center is Queenstown hill. Nestled behind the bustling town, it provides fantastic views of the Remarkables range and the town below. It’s a moderate walk to the top, a flat summit which provides plenty of space for photos and flips (flips optional). On the way you pass through shaded forest and a collection of the most rock cairns you’ll ever see. All in all, if you need an easier half day hike in Queenstown and have no extra time to spare, make the hike up Queenstown hill the one you do.

Duration: 2-3 hours return

Difficulty: Moderate (basic fitness required)

2. Ben Lomond

Best Queenstown Hikes- Ben Lomond

If Queenstown hill was the best half day hike then the hike up to the Ben Lomond summit is the best full day hike! Starting through the dark pine forest, you eventually break out into the sunlight again on your way to the saddle between Ben Lomond and Bowen Peak through tussock slopes. From here you get impressive views over the Twenty Five mile range and can take a break before you push onwards to the summit. It gets steep from here but stick with it and you’ll be rewarded with epic views!

Always remember to bring all your layers and know the hazards of alpine peaks. This hike should not be attempted in winter unless experienced and equipped to travel over snow and ice.

Duration: 6-8 hours return

Difficulty: Hard


Read More:

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Why That Alpine Crossing or Peak Isn’t as Easy as You Think!


3. Bob’s Peak

An easier version of Ben Lomond, this trail finishes at the top of the Gondola. You could cheat and take the Gondola up, but then you miss out on the effort = reward buzz you get after doing some work. It’s not particularly hard with most people getting up there within an hour. The views over Queenstown are expansive and it’s one of the most photographed views of the town with the Remarkables range as the backdrop. A highly recommended hike is to go up for sunset as the Remarkables range bathed in golden light is truly memorable.

Duration: 2 hours return

Difficulty: Easy

4. Lake Alta

Best Queenstown Hikes - Lake Alta

A fantastic hike over the summer is a trip to Lake Alta up in the Remarkables range. With deep, clear water, this is a hike that takes you into the summer alpine wonderland. Patches of snow might still be hanging on the slopes below Double and Single Cone, and you might even meet a Kea, New Zealand’s famous alpine parrot! Lake Alta is a fun place for a quick dip or swim as well, if you can brave the cold water! Just remember to carry out all rubbish and stick to the path on the way up so as to preserve the alpine flora.

Duration: 1.5 hours return from ski field car park

Difficulty: Moderate

5. Shadow Basin Lookout

Shadow Basin Lookout- Best Queenstown Hikes

While you are doing a trip to lake Alta, you might as well take a trip up to the Shadow Basin Lookout that gives you new views over Queenstown. This is popular in both summer and winter as its just outside the ski field boundary. In summer there is a well formed wide access road that you walk up (no vehicles allowed) and the lookout has a obvious trail leading to it. I never get tired of the view up there, it’s just awesome! The location of the lookout is marked on the map at the bottom of the post.

Duration: 1.5 hours return

Difficulty: Moderate

6. Moke Lake

Sitting in an area known as the Lakes District, Queenstown sure does have some scenic lakes. One of these is Moke Lake, and is a popular place to go for a swim in summer. After the walk around the lake, have a rest and relax by the water with a picnic and enjoy the mountains surrounding you and this special spot.

Duration: 2 hours return

Difficulty: Easy

7. Lake Hayes

Lake Hayes - Best Queenstown Hikes

Lake Hayes sits just outside Queenstown and is a very popular spot for a morning or afternoon walk. It’s nice and easy, and if you have a mountain bike, is also a really nice ride. At certain points the track sits just centimeters above the water and there is a cool wooden walkway part of the way that takes you over the lake edge.

Duration: 2-3 hours return

Difficulty: Easy

8. Mt Crichton Loop and Sam summers hut

Mt Crichton Loop and Sam Summers hut

I really love this hike for its history and the awesome historic hut. The Sam Summers hut is a shelter and home used in the mining days and is a cool place to spend the night if you have your overnight hiking gear. The whole track goes through beautiful Beech forest with moss carpets and clear creeks. There’s a few steep hills but overall it’s a moderate hike. I recommend doing it in a clockwise direction. Be sure to explore the little lookouts and side attractions along the way, and take your time around the Sam Summers hut and have a break and snack.

Duration: 2-4 hours return


9. Wye Creek Track

Wye creek track lookout - Best Queenstown Hikes

This isn’t a well known location but a trip up Wye creek is a great way to spend half the day. There’s a popular lookout and the walk also goes along the hydro pipeline and makes for a unique walking experience next to some impressive waterfalls. To get to the lookout, simply keep following the pipeline as this doesn’t follow the marked Wye creek track into Wye creek valley. It’s also a cool spot to watch rock climbers (like me) tackle the vertical cliffs!

Duration: 2 hours return

Difficulty: Moderate

Queenstown's Best Hikes- Trailhead Locations Map

No matter if you are travelling to New Zealand for a few weeks or just spending a few days in Queenstown, these hikes should be on everyone's list! Queenstown is the adventure capital of the world, and taking the time to do some hikes with amazing views will complete that experience.

Got any of your own favourite hikes around Queenstown? Share them in the comments below!

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