Moke Lake, New Zealand: Stargazing and Reflections
August 16, 2018
Moke Lake, New Zeland
Just outside of Queenstown, along the drive to Glenorchy there is a beautiful hidden gem, Moke Lake. But, there is so much more to Moke Lake it than first meets the eye. The waters are usually calm due to the mountains surrounding it protecting it from the winds making incredible reflections. There are also hiking trails around Moke Lake and fishing in the lake!
If you are visiting Queenstown, then a short trip to Moke Lake is definitely something to add to your to-do list. Here is everything you need to know about visiting Moke Lake.
The only way to get to Moke Lake is by car. From Queenstown, drive towards Glenorchy on Queenstown-Glenorchy Road. About 7 km out of Queenstown you will see Moke Lake Road on the right-hand side. Turn onto Moke Lake Road and follow it until the end.
The road is 6km from the turn-off and about 4km’s is unpaved. In spring and winter, the road is recommended for 4WD’s only (although we have risked it and made the trip twice this winter in our 2WD van without any problems!)
After heavy rainfall or in spring, the road condition would be worst and this is when I would suggest only trying to drive it in a 4WD.
What to do at Moke Lake
Most people just go to Moke Lake to look at the views. There is a large carpark for daytime use and a few walking trails around the lake. You could go for a picnic or just to check out the area for an hour or so.
If you want to go hiking, there are two popular hiking trails around Moke Lake. The first is the Loop Track around the lake. This hike takes about 2-3 hours and is fairly easy. It is relatively flat most of the way and the trail is well-maintained.
The second hike is a little more challenging as it goes up quite steep to a viewpoint. It is called The Moonlight Track. This hike is best done in the summer as ice and snow in the winter can make it slippery and dangerous. The Moonlight Track goes from Moke Lake to Arthurs Point and takes about 4 hours one-way.
Many people also go fishing at Moke Lake. You could either rent gear or go on a guided fishing excursion. There are many different kinds of fish in Moke Lake and it is likely that you will catch something!
Stargazing at night is also very popular at Moke Lake. Moke Lake is far enough from the lights of Queenstown that you can get an amazing view of the night sky on a clear night!
Facilities at Moke Lake
At Moke Lake, you will find a campground, toilet facilities, and picnic tables. The walking trails are all signposted. There isn’t anywhere to buy food or drinks so if you plan on going hiking, make sure bring plenty of water with you!