The view from the top of Queenstown Hill is arguably the best way to see the area, which is presumably why it is one of the most popular day hikes in and around Queenstown! Here I have compiled a full guide with all the information you need to complete the Queenstown Hill Walking Track for yourself!
WHERE DOES THE TRACK START?
The track starts from Belfast Terrace, the start is well signposted. If you are driving, there are around five car park spaces but also spaces on the road if they are full. Alternatively you can always walk from town, it is just five minutes away from the centre!
HOW LONG IS THE TRACK?
The track is actually only 2km long, but the signs recommend it taking between 1.5/2.5 hours. For me as a pretty unfit person the walk up took 1 hour, we spent about 30 minutes soaking in the views at the top and another 50 mins to walk back down. So overall about 2 hours and 20 minutes. Although that did involve lots of rest stops on the way up!
The walking track is really well maintained, with quite a wide pathway, so no fear of falling off the side of the track! There is quite a steep section right at the start, but you are rewarded with an inviting bench to take a rest on. After just a few more minutes, the track takes you into the forest with some level sections. However, about 90% of the way to the top is uphill, some parts steeper than others. But definitely doable, especially if you take breaks to get your breath back.
After about 25 minutes on the track, you will come across a signpost. It directs you left for the walking track and right for the loop track. We had a quick read online and actually learned that the left track is pretty treacherous, so decided on the right hand path. But they actually both go to the top of the hill, I think most people also chose the same path as us!
You can also give yourself a few minutes rest by stopping to read the many information boards on the way up, filling you in on the history of Queenstown.
Top Tip: If you hate walking uphill like me, why not makeshift a walking stick! There are lots of loose branches on the ground to choose from, it will make the climb a whole lot easier!
Once you come out of the forest you have near enough made it! You can now meander from viewpoint to viewpoint, taking in the scenery from all angles. There are lots of paths at the top itself to guide you to these lookouts. The path to the very top of the hill is a little steeper again, but well worth it. You’ve made it most of the way up, why not go right to the top! Also a great place to eat some snacks you have hopefully packed with you. You are rewarded with a 360° view of The Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu, which I can say is well worth the hike!
As soon as you feel ready to head back down, just take the same path you came up on! If you have the energy for more hikes in Queenstown take a look at this DOC brochure for all the info.
We both found the Queenstown Hill Walking Track one of the most rewarding hikes of our road trip through New Zealand so far! If you decide to hike it too, you will definitely not regret it due to the incredible views at the top. Let me know if you have hiked it, or are planning to on your trip to Queenstown.
If you are an avid hiker and find yourself in Laos, I would really recommend going on The Gibbon Experience. An amazing few days spent ziplining and hiking through the jungle, with the high chance of spotting wild Gibbons. Read here for all the info you need!
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