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Exploring Queenstown: Our Top 10 favourite walks

Getting outdoors and enjoying the scenery is something both locals and visitors love to do in Queenstown. Here are our favourite 10 walks and day hikes to add to your bucket list:

  1. Bob’s Cove Track & Nature Walk
    Easy | 1 hour return
    Known for its beautiful blue waters, Bob’s Cove is a prime spot for a walk, ride or even a dip in the lake. A gentle descent takes you through bush to Bob’s Cove beach, one of Queenstown’s prettiest inlets, and then on to the old lime kiln and jetty. This walk also joins up with the Twelve Mile Delta Track. The access point is approximately 15 minutes from Queenstown on the Glenorchy Rd.
  2. Kelvin Heights Peninsula Track
    Easy | 1 hour one way
    Walking along the shores of Lake Wakatipu along the Kelvin Heights peninsula, this track offers spectacular views with plenty of photo worthy stops and rope swings. The walk starts at Kawarau Falls Bridge and ends near the Kelvin Heights golf course.  Or you can add another 20 minutes on by around the peninsula and checking out the cool sculptures (just keep an eye on the golf course signs and stop at the designated points if someone is playing a shot!).
  3. Arrowtown River Walk
    Easy | 1 hour return
    Stroll or bike along the shady Arrow River Track, also known as the Millennium Walkway.
  4. Lake Hayes Track
    Easy – Moderate | 2-hour loop
    Walk, run or bike around Lake Hayes on a gravel path/boardwalk.  On a still day you will be treated to amazing reflections of the surrounding mountains.
    Tip: This is an absolute must-do in autumn when the poplar trees turn gold!
    Parking is available at the Lake Hayes Pavilion on SH6, at the Lake Hayes Recreation Reserve, and Bendemeer Bay, on the Arrowtown-Lake Hayes Rd.
  5.  Tobins Track
    Moderate | 1 hour
    Walk up the 4WD track up to the Crown Terrace to enjoy panoramic views across Arrowtown.Tobins Track
  6. Queenstown Hill
    Moderate | 2-3 hours
    A Queenstown must-do, Queenstown Hill is a great year-round hike offering spectacular views at the top.
    Tip: Many people turn around at the Basket of Dream sculpture. Make sure you make the final hike to the summit – the views are worth it!
  7. Mt Crichton Loop Track
    Easy – Moderate | 2-3 hours
    Starting along the road to Glenorchy, the Mt Crichton Loop Track (affectionately called “Sam Summers” by locals) will take you up through the bush and past the historic Sam Summer Hut and Twelve Mile Creek with beautiful views of Lake Dispute and Lake Wakatipu along the way.
    Tip: Don’t miss the small detour to see the Chasm (keep an eye out for the sign).
  8. Sawpit Gully
    Moderate | 3 hours
    Start from the carpark near the Chinese Settlement in Arrowtown and stroll along the Arrow River Trail before climbing up to the Eichardt Flat for great views of the Wakatipu Basin.  From the signposted turn-off to Sawpit Gully, it’s a steeper uphill climb to the saddle between German Hill and craggy Brow Peak . Once in Sawpit Gully, wander along parts of a water race and check out the piles of stone gold mining tailings before descending back to Arrowtown.
  9. Moonlight Track
    Moderate | 4 hours one-way
    Starting at Moke Lake, the Moonlight track takes you through Ben Lomond Station ending at the Shotover River, Arthurs Point.
  10. Ben Lomond Summit
    Moderate – Difficult | 6- 8 hours
    The track begins among Douglas Fir trees on the Skyline Access Road or the Tiki Trail next to the Skyline Gondola base station at the top of Brecon Street. At about 800 m altitude you leave the tree line behind to enter alpine tussocks and shrubs. Climb to the 1,326 m Ben Lomond Saddle (Ben Lomond Station) before the track gets steeper and rougher as it approaches Ben Lomond’s 1,748m summit.  But after a hard slog, your reward at the top is the most breathtaking 360 degree views across the Queenstown region!

Walks are ranked easiest to most difficult. We strongly recommend you check the Department of Conservation (DOC) website for track conditions before you set out on your adventures, tell someone where you’re going, and make sure you bring appropriate clothing, water and snacks as the weather can change quickly.