4 Hikes Near Queenstown (that you can do right from your hotel)
July 30, 2018
Queenstown is perfect if you want to go hiking because there are so many hikes near Queenstown that you access without even having a car! These are four hikes near Queenstown that I can personally recommend include useful information for doing them for yourself!
4 Hikes Near Queenstown You Can Do Right From Your
Queenstown is a hikers’ dream. In the surrounding area, there are literally hundreds of trails the weave through the surrounding hills and mountains. These hikes vary in length and difficulty so it is really not hard to find something for all experience levels. But what if you don’t have a car? Well, that’s one thing I love about Queenstown, there are many hikes near Queenstown that you can do right from your hotel room!
From the centre of town, some of these hikes are less than a five-minute walk. You could finish up breakfast and be on a pristine trail only minutes later. I personally find that there is no better way to start a day than with a hike under the morning sun so I decided to write this post to my 4 favorite hikes near Queenstown that you can do right from your hotel!
1. Tiki Trail
Starting with one of the easiest and shortest hikes on the list is the Tiki Trail. The Tiki Trail winds up through the forest area near the Gondola behind Queenstown.
This short hike up takes around an hour and finishes at the Skyline building. It is the closest hike to town starting only meters from town centre!
As far as views of Queenstown go none are more iconic than those at the end of the Tiki Trail. From the top, the views looking down on Queenstown are simply spectacular. It would have to be one of the best places to view the Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu at the same time!
Aside from the views, at the top the trail winds up through Queenstown’s thick Pine forests and takes you far away from the town’s hustle and bustle. It amazes me that within 10 minutes the streets of Queenstown become silent and only the birds speak!
About the Trail
To start the hike simply head to the bottom of the Gondola in town and follow the clearly marked signs onto the trail. From the center of town, this is only a 5-minute walk! Although the trail is well maintained some parts of the hike are steep and slippery. This hike is short however it is completely uphill so allow extra time if you’re not feeling super fit.
2. Queenstown Hill Walk
The Queenstown Hill walk is one of my favorite hikes near Queenstown. The trail leads you through a similar landscape to the Tiki but instead of ending at a fancy building you are simply surrounded by mountains. Once at the top, the forest clears and so does your views of the surrounding area.
This hike takes around 2 hours return and is second when it comes to closeness to town!
As mentioned above, the forest area on Queenstown Hill rapidly declines once you reach the top. This means you get 360-degree views of the area! This includes The Remarkables Mountain Range, Ben Lomond Mountain, Lake Wakatipu, Frankton Bay and more! In my personal opinion, it’s my favorite views of the area.
Reason two is that it’s a great spot to spend sunrise or sunset! With the near perfectly maintained trails walking up or down in low light is that much safer! During my last venture up I witnessed a spectacular golden sunrise the glowed through a fine mist! Simply put, Queenstown Hill is a must do!
About the Trail
The Trail begins on Belfast Terrace only a few minutes from town. This trail is really well maintained and in summer you could almost hike in flip-flops. The trail’s long switchbacks mean it is not overly steep and would have to be the easiest hike on this list!
3. Fernhill Loop
The Fernhill Loop is a similar hike to the Tiki Trail and Queenstown Hill but brings its own unique touch. This hike is also the furthest off the tourist trail and as such, its not uncommon to not see other hikers. The Fernhill Loop takes only 3 hours.
You may be wondering what the Fernhill Loop’s unique touch is? Well, it’s the many mountain bike parks and trails that wind their way beside the walking trail. During my hike up to the top, it was really amazing to see some of the cool (and downright crazy) stunts these guys pull!
In the summer it’s not uncommon the see professional riders doing the obstacle courses and larger jumps. This hike doesn’t just offer an amazing view, it’s also a great place to see some extreme sports in action!
About the Trail
This trail is extremely steep on one side of the loop and in all honesty, I struggled with the constant steep incline. It was almost heartbreaking to turn every corner and see the steep trail continue. However, there is a way to make it easier and that’s to take the trail up the right side (if you’re facing up the hill). This side is longer but not as steep and also closer to the mountain bike trails.
4. The Ben Lomond Trail
The Ben Lomond trail is the hardest and longest hike of the hikes near Queenstown on this list. However, I must say it’s the most rewarding. Although the trail doesn’t technically start from in town it is accessed by the Tiki Trail (the first hike on this list). This hike takes a full day and starts from the end of the Tiki Trail or the top of the Skyline Gondola.
When I said the Ben Lomond Trail was more rewarding, I meant it! The views from either the saddle or summit are breathtaking. This trail takes you to a whole new level of height as opposed the other hikes mentioned. The peak just below the saddle, in my opinion, mirrors Roy’s Peak!
From the top, Queenstown becomes unseen and you feel as though you are hundreds of miles from anywhere. This trail also gets you up into the mountains as opposed to just the foothills so it’s a great place to do some real hiking if you’re up for it.
About the Trail
What makes this hike so long is you must first hike the full Tiki Trail to start the hike. From Queenstown, hiking to the Ben Lomond summit takes a full day or 9 hours there and back. To the saddle, I would allow 5 hours. The trail is not very well maintained and in winter becomes very icy past the tree line.
If you still want to do the hike but are worried about the distance then taking the Gondola up and down to the start of the hike is a great way to shave a few hours off the hike.
Visiting Queenstown means something different to everyone, but if like me, you enjoy exploring the area that’s made it so famous, then one or all of these hikes near Queenstown are a great way to start. From the doorstep of your hotel, you are only minutes from all of these amazing trails that all offer their own unique views of the area. The trails are a great way to start or end a day and the best part about them is that they’re all free!