Queenstown – our favourite little corner of the world. We’ve got it all here. Dramatic mountains, lush forests, crystal clear lakes and rivers and to top it all off, some of the most beautiful walks in the country. No wonder this is the best place for a wedding! Staying in Queenstown after the big day? Wondering what your friends and family can do before or after the wedding? We’ve put together a list of our favourite hikes in Queenstown so you can all take advantage of the breath-taking scenery we have here:
Queenstown Hill – Easily accessible from town centre, this day hike offers breath-taking panoramic views of Queenstown and its surrounds.
Set aside roughly two hours for this hike, depending on how many photo stops you take – there are quite a few unmissable photo opportunities along the way!
This mostly uphill walk will feel well worth it once you reach the summit of ‘Te Tapunui’, or ‘Mountain of Intense Sacredness’. Its name speaks for itself. You can’t help but feel awestruck once you reach the top – the views will literally take your breath away!
Ben Lomond – If you’re looking for a more strenuous, longer day hike in Queenstown, Ben Lomond is the pick of the bunch.
Also accessible from town centre, this hike can take anywhere from 5 to 8 hours depending on fitness levels. Pack your lunch and enjoy it at the summit for the most scenic meal you’ll ever experience. If you’d like to cut out about an hour of uphill climb, take the Skyline Gondola up and start the hike from there.
When you reach the summit, make sure to take in the stunning 360-degree views around you. Look out for the cheeky Kea (the world’s only alpine parrot) at the summit, but beware – these friendly birds are incredibly smart and love to steal snacks!
Arrow River – If heading out of town is what you’re after, a day trip to Arrowtown is a must. About a 20-minute drive from central Queenstown, this historic gold mining town features beautiful shops and restaurants, years of history and several lovely walks. A favourite is the Arrow River Trail.
Following the tranquil Arrow River, this leisurely walk offers beautiful views with minimal effort. If you’re in Queenstown for an autumn wedding, make sure to take advantage of this walk. The golden and crimson hues dotting the hillside by the river are magnificent!
After your walk, explore the local shops and dine in one of Arrowtown’s renowned restaurants.
Bob’s Cove – You can find this gem of a spot just outside central Queenstown. This scenic walk starts off amongst mountain beech trees, then descends to the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Your first sight of the clear blue water is sure to stop you in your tracks – welcome to Bob’s Cove!
Continue along the track to learn the history of this magical spot, rest at the jetty and dip your toes in the water, listen to the bellbirds and tui singing and soak in the spectacular scenery. Don’t forget your camera!
Lake Hayes – Just 15 minutes outside central Queenstown, this 8 km loop track circumnavigates the calm, glassy Lake Hayes.
Follow the undulating track and enjoy the endless lake and mountain views. Bring a picnic for a peaceful lunch beside the reflective lake, swing from one of the rope swings, go for a paddle or just relax and snap some photos!
Sunshine Bay – This picturesque trail offers forest, mountain, lake and beach scenery all in just one hour – what more could you ask for?
The walking track parallels the shoreline of Lake Wakatipu, so once you come out of the beech tree forest, you’ll be rewarded with uninterrupted lake views every step of the way – and better yet, with minimal effort!
Sam Summers’ Hut – Walk in the footsteps of gold miners to an ancient mountain hut.
Follow the trail within a canopy of beech trees alongside gushing waterfalls and flowing alpine streams. Make sure to continue through the tailrace tunnel and learn all about the miners’ work here. Finish off at Sam Summers’ Hut – a basic mountain hut that miner, Sam Summers, built in 1930.
Step back in time with this hike – a stunning and historical experience!
Moke Lake – Framed by impressive mountains, this stunning loop track circumnavigates Moke Lake. Walk through grassland and say hello to the local horses, sheep and cows. You’ll soon reach the beautiful lake.
Make sure to look out for the reflection of the surrounding mountains on the water – a priceless photo!
After your day hike in Queenstown, enjoy a well-deserved feed at one of our favourite local spots. Check out a list of our favourite places to eat in Queenstown here!