Queenstown has never been cheaper to visit as tour operator’s slash their prices to entice Kiwi’s to come and visit our mountains! You now have an amazing opportunity to see much of the surrounding stunning views which make Queenstown special, with a range of walks which won’t cost you a penny!
My love of Queenstown is due to all the incredible trails we have for walking, running, biking. I love to be outside and you can get on a trail from pretty well anywhere in Queenstown within minutes.
So I thought I would put together a list of some of my favourite things you can do for free! I’m going to start with the local trails which offer spectacular vista’s, quintessential photo opportunities, and an abundance of fresh clean mountain air!
As a long time local I have the inside information!
So here are a few of my favourites in no particular order. The best reference is the Wakatipu Trails brochure which covers all of the accessible tracks (and not so accessible), expected time to complete the walk or bike, a map, a detailed description, the fitness level required, and if its family-friendly.
#7 – Moonlight Track – Arthurs Point
If leaving from Arthurs point you head out towards Moke lake with the valley on your right-hand side. Honestly, the views through that valley are incredible. You can mountain bike this one too. But it’s slightly technical in places. Sweet talk someone in your group to drop you off at one end and drive around to the other and meet you at Moke Lake.
#5 – Moke Lake – Lake Dispute
You can either combine these two for a longer hike or just take the kids around Moke Lake for a nice and easy walk for the little people.
# 8 – Ben Lomond
Challenging hike but so worth it when you get to the top. Some crazy people often leave around 3 – 4 am and get up there for sunrise. Take the Tiki Trail from Skyline and keep following the signs up to Ben Lomond Saddle. You can either head up to the summit once at the saddle or if you’re super keen you can drop down into the valley on the other side and you’re on the Moonlight Trail.
#17 – Frankton Track
This is the best track if you have kids. Or you just want to go for a long bike around the lake. There are plenty of places to rent bikes if you didn’t bring one. So many little beaches to stop at and cool off. Or ride through to the Boatshed Café which is near the Frankton Marina. Have a coffee break and you can carry on all the way around to Jacks Point. The bike companies will also pick you up from Jacks Point should you find you don’t feel like riding all the way back.
#28 – Sawpit Gully, Arrowtown
Located near the Chinese Village in Arrowtown. It’s a short sharp climb and then drops back into Mace Town slightly and then loops back around. Doesn’t take too long and has great scenery all the way around. A great hike if you’re out that way.
#15 – Queenstown Hill
A quick hike in town with one of the best views you’ll see. Really well-made trail that even the little people will find fairly easy. Well worth it!
The possibilities are endless. I’ve explored a lot of New Zealand and I’m amazed at just the number of trails we are lucky enough to have on our doorstep compared to around the country. There is something for every level here. So get out there and enjoy it!