The Queenstown Hill Walk: One of the Best Trails in NZ
June 17, 2018
Queenstown Hill Walk – Complete Guide
The Queenstown Hill walk is one of the best short hikes around Queenstown. The short hike takes you to the top of Queenstown Hill and rewards you with breathtaking views. To be honest the Queenstown Hill Walk is one of my favorite hikes to do and is a great place for getting some fresh air and exercise!
The short hike and the well-maintained track mean it is accessible to almost all who visit Queenstown and therefore is a ‘must do’ for anyone while in Queenstown. For many, the argument that the views are similar to those on the Tikka Trail (where the gondola takes you) stops them from visiting. However, it is the fewer crowds and peaceful trails that make it more favorable to me! And to be honest, why not just do both?
If you are already sold on the hike then this guide will help with everything you need to know about the Queenstown Hill walk (from someone who’s done it many times!)
The start of the Queenstown Hill Walking Trail
The start of the Queenstown Hill walk begins from Belfast Street only 5 minutes from the city center.
To reach the hike by foot or car head down Highway 6 (main highway out of town) then turn left on to Beetham Street. From there take your first right onto Hallenstien and take your first left onto Edgar Street. Follow Edgar Street up until you reach a small intersection. There you will need to turn left onto Kent Street, however, this street quickly becomes a fork in the road and you must stay right and enter Kerry Drive. Once on Kerry Drive simply follow it all the way to the end to which it becomes Belfast Terrace. Only 1 minute up Belfast and the Queenstown Hill hiking trail will be on your left!
This may seem confusing so you can just use Maps.me or Google Maps! Simply type in Queenstown Hill walking track!
If you are driving there is a small carpark at the start of the trail! This carpark only has room for around 5 cars, however, there is also street parking available.
How long is the Queenstown Hill Walk?
The Queenstown hill walk is 2.5km to the summit with an elevation climb of 600m.
To the lookout it is only 2km and a 500m climb in elevation. The hike takes around 2 hours to complete but I would allow longer for taking in the amazing views! From town, I would allow 4 hours to walk to the trail, hike to the top, enjoy the views, and then return.
How difficult is the hike?
The Queenstown Hill hike is a really easy hike. Although the trail heads straight up, the path is well maintained and easy to walk on. The switchbacks make the incline not overly steep. If you are concerned just know that there are plenty of spots to rest along the way!
Hiking in winter
During the winter months, snowfall can cover the higher parts of the hike once you pass the tree line. From this area to the summit you can experience icy conditions. It is important to wear appropriate footwear in winter. I recommend waterproof hiking boots. That being said, the majority of the hike is completed in thick forest and is not subjected to snow.
What to Bring
The Queenstown Hill walk is only a short hike and as such does not require much preparation. During the summer months, I would recommend taking plenty of water, around 1L per person should be fine. Wearing runners is best and bringing along a hat and sunscreen are also a great idea.
As mentioned, in winter it really is great to wear full waterproof hiking boots as well as an extra jumper so you can stand the cold when you reach the top!
As far as the trail goes it is all pretty safe for all ages. One thing to mention is the poisonous mushrooms around the area. One, in particular, has a beautiful red bulb. These may look pretty but they are poisonous to both humans and pets.
Hiking for sunrise or sunset is the best time to enjoy the best views, but, with this comes a few extra cautions. Bringing an adequate flashlight or phone light is highly recommended. Also, be prepared for the colder temperatures if your hiking in the winter (especially at sunrise or sunset) because when that sun does go down it is freezing!
The Queenstown Hill walking track is one of the best free day hikes around Queenstown. The views mixed with the accessibility and the rather short length make it great for everyone. Please do yourself a favor and visit this beautiful place and check out the stunning views for yourself!