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10 Amazing Hikes in Queenstown New Zealand

10 Amazing Hikes in Queenstown New Zealand

Olly Gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler for 6 years. I visit every place I write about & share real tips, photos, & advice from my trips.

Queenstown is known as the adventure capital of New Zealand. What you might not know is that it’s also a great place for hiking.

From epic mountain summits straight from town to spectacular coastal tracks on the edge of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is the perfect destination for everything outdoors.

After many trips, here are my absolute favourite hiking trails in and around Queenstown to help you plan your day trips!

I’ve also written comprehensive hiking guides for each hike, so if you are looking for more information and photos, make sure to check out the links below each section.

1. Ben Lomond Summit Track

  • Trailhead: Next to the Skyline Gondola or hike the Tiki Trail (below)
  • Hike Distance & Duration: 18 km (11.1 mi), 5-7 hours round trip
  • Difficulty: Challenging

One of the most popular and most challenging hikes in Queenstown is the epic day trip up to the Ben Lomond Summit, which sits at 1,748 m above town.

This hike is accessed directly from town by starting on the Tiki trail just next to the Skyline Gondola.

Expect a steep yet rewarding ascent that takes roughly 5-7 hours to complete and return. From the summit, you will get sweeping views of Queenstown, the Remarkables and of course, the beautiful Lake Wakatipu. Make sure to start early, bring plenty of water, and be prepared for variable weather!

Hiking in the snow in new zealand
Ben Lomond Track in Winter

2. Tiki Trail to the Gondola

  • Trailhead: Next to the Skyline Gondola
  • Hike Distance & Duration: 2.1 km (1.3 mi), 1-2 hours round trip
  • Difficulty: Moderate

If you're not quite up to hiking all the way to the Ben Lomond summit, then taking the Tiki Trail to the top of the Skyline Gondola is still a very worthwile trip.

The Tiki Trail is one of Queenstown's famous local hikes and offers great views of the town from above. The trail itself while steep, it is very scenic as you pass thick birch forest and sounds of native birds.

At the top, you'll also find the "luge" which is one of the most popular adventure activities found in Queenstown.

Tiki trail hike from queenstown

3. Queenstown Hill

  • Trailhead: Belfast Terrace
  • Hike Distance & Duration: 6 km (3.7 mi), 2-3 hours round trip
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Perhaps the most popular hike in Queenstown, the Queenstown Hill loop track is a gentler, yet scenic hike that leads to the top of the resident hill. This trail starts in suburban streets and quickly climbs a rugged hill through pine forests for an epic view of the town.

The entire track can be managed within 2-3 hours, so there's no excuse not to hit the trail! I recommend heading up for sunset or sunrise for the most impressive views of Queenstown.

Queenstown hill summit viewpoint

4. Moke Lake Loop

  • Trailhead: Moke Lake Campsite
  • Hike Distance & Duration: 6.5 km (4 mi), 2-3 hours round trip
  • Difficulty: Easy

Moke Lake is a small mountain lake located near the small suburb of Closeburn, near Queenstown. Although this lake is only a relative stone-throw away from the bustling adrenaline hub, Moke Lake is a much tamer and secluded hiking area.

This area is great for camping but I recommend visiting if you're looking for scenic lake hikes near Queenstown. The Moke Lake Loop is a short walk that covers the circumference of the lake with epic views of the surrounding mountains.

There's also a great lookout point on the adjacent hill where you can catch great views of the lake.

Moke lake new zealand

5. Bob's Cove Track

  • Trailhead: Bob's Cove Carpark
  • Hike Distance & Duration: 1.5 km (0.9 mi), 20-30 minutes round trip
  • Difficulty: Easy

For those looking for a quick and easy coastal track with stunning lake views, then Bob’s Cove Track is the most bang-for-hiking-buck track just 15 minutes from town.

You'll find the trailhead just a few kilometres down the road connecting Queenstown to Glenorchy. Once you arrive, you'll find a few scenic tracks, the main of which goes all the way around to 12 Mile Delta.

On a clear day, I'd highly recommend making the short drive to the cove from Queenstown and climbing up to Picnic Point. While not steep, the views of the Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu are spectacular.

Hiking the bob's cove track queenstown

6. Lake Alta Hike

  • Trailhead: Remarkables Ski Area
  • Hike Distance & Duration: 2 km (1.2 mi), 1-2 hours round trip
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Now for a bit of a "cheat" hike to a scenic alpine lake with a viewpoint that sits at 2,000 m above sea level. It’s perfect for those wanting a high-altitude experience without a long hike. What I mean by this is that you'll actually be driving the majority of the incline from Queenstown!

The Lake Alta hike is a short track that leads from the Remarkables Ski Area and finishes just beside the lake. However, if you follow my guide, I detail a relatively secret route to a saddle viewpoint, for one of the impressive viewpoints in Queenstown.

Lake alta queenstown

7. Earnslaw Burn Hike

  • Trailhead: Glenorchy
  • Hike Distance & Duration: 22 km (13.7 mi), 8-10 hours round trip or 2 days
  • Difficulty: Hard

The Earnslaw Burn hike is one of the best hikes multi-day hikes Queenstown, if not in New Zealand. To get to the trailhead, you'll need to drive approximately one hour from Queenstown to the nearby town of Glenorchy.

The Earnslaw Burn route follows the Earnslaw glacial burn through dense birch forest before breaking out into a waterfall-lined valley with unbeatable views of the Earnslaw Glacier.

This hike is usually attempted over two days, with freedom camping spots available in the valley. With that said, if you leave early enough and have the energy, you can complete this hike from Queenstown in one day.

Earnslaw glacier hike new zealand

8. The Routeburn Track

  • Trailhead: Routeburn Shelter (near Glenorchy)
  • Hike Distance & Duration: 33 km one way (20.5 mi), 2-4 days
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Hard

The Routeburn track is one of New Zealand's Great Walks and also one of the most scenic hikes in New Zealand. Most trampers and hikers attempt this over 2-3 days. However, it is possible to hike the most beautiful section of this track in a long Routeburn one-day out-and-back hike. I did this to Conical Peak and return, which was a long but very rewarding day!

The Routeburn Track leads through diverse landscapes, including beech forests and alpine meadows. The highlight for most is the breathtaking views from Harris Saddle, where you'll be surrounded by towering peaks and deep valleys.

Similarly to the Earnslaw Burn hike, the Routeburn Track is not exactly a hike in Queenstown. You will need to depart a little early to drive the one-hour scenic road to Glenorchy before hitting the trail.

Still, if you don't have time to stay in Glenorchy, starting the hike from a Queenstown base is still a popular option.

Lake harris routeburn day hike

9. Glenorchy Walkway

  • Trailhead: Glenorchy township
  • Hike Distance & Duration: 5 km (3.1 mi), 1-2 hours round trip
  • Difficulty: Easy

The Glenorchy Walkway is a pleasant and easy hike starting from Glenorchy township.

This trail meanders through wetlands and offers scenic views of the surrounding mountains and Lake Wakatipu. It's not really a hike, but it's a very scenic and leisurely walk that's suitable for all ages. As you walk along the well-maintained boardwalks and gravel paths, you'll be treated to stunning vistas of the Humboldt Mountains and the Dart River.

Tip: This trail is ideal for bird watchers and nature lovers, the walkway provides a serene experience just a short drive from Queenstown.

Girl on the glenorchy walkway trail in new zealand

10. Bob's Peak

  • Trailhead: Skyline Gondola
  • Hike Distance & Duration: 2.1 km (1.3 mi), 1-2 hours round trip
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Bob's Peak offers one of the most accessible and rewarding vantage points in Queenstown. To reach the summit, you can start by hiking the Tiki Trail, which begins at the base of the Skyline Gondola. The trail ascends through lush native bush, providing a scenic and somewhat challenging climb. Alternatively, you can take the Skyline Gondola for a more relaxed journey to the top.

At the summit, you'll find panoramic views of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu, and the Remarkables mountain range. The viewpoint at Bob's Peak is great for photos but if you're keen, I recommend hiking on to Ben Lomond for much better views!

Girl hiking near bob's peak in new zealand

Where to Stay in Queenstown

I've written a separate, accommodation guide to the best places to stay in Queenstown– make sure to check it out get a great deal! Otherwise, below is a quick summary of my top picks.

Shotover penthouse & spa queenstown accommodation new zealand

1. Shotover Penthouse & Spa Luxury

An incredible penthouse apartment that features an outdoor terrace with a barbecue and hot tub. It is situated 200 m from the Skyline Gondola and Luge.

Outdoor hot tub at night at the luxurious family home

2. Family Home Group Pick

Great for families due to its epic 5-bedroom option and a bonus is the trampoline and outdoor hot tub. And just an 8-minute drive from Downtown Queenstown.

The black sheep backpackers queenstown accommodation

3. Black Sheep Backpackers Budget

A fun-filled hostel that features pod beds, an outdoor hot tub, and located within walking distance from central Queenstown. Free bike rental is available.

Spaceship rentals 3840

3. Spaceship Camper Alternative

I cruised around in style in a Spaceship rental car. These are great for budget adventure travelers since you’ll get your accommodation and transport ticked off in one neat package.


What is the best hike in Queenstown for beginners?

The Moke Lake Loop is perfect for beginners. It's a short, scenic walk around a beautiful mountain lake with gentle terrain. The loop can be completed in about 2 hours, offering great views without much effort.

Which hike offers the best panoramic views of Queenstown?

The Ben Lomond Summit Track provides the most spectacular panoramic views. The hike is challenging but rewarding, with views of Queenstown, the Remarkables, and Lake Wakatipu from the summit. Plan for a 5-7 hour round trip.

Are there any family-friendly hikes in Queenstown?

The Glenorchy Walkway is ideal for families. It’s a leisurely walk through wetlands with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and Lake Wakatipu. The trail is flat and suitable for all ages.

What hike should I take if I want a shorter adventure with great views?

The Bob's Cove Track is a great option. It's a short 20-minute walk offering incredible lake views and a scenic climb to Picnic Point. Perfect for a quick and rewarding hike.

When is the best time to go hiking in New Zealand?

The best time for hiking in Queenstown is during the late spring to early autumn months, from November to April. The weather is generally mild and stable, offering the best conditions for outdoor activities. Winter can be challenging due to snow and ice on higher altitude trails.

Can I hike in Queenstown during winter?

Yes, many trails are accessible in winter, but conditions can be challenging. Always check the weather forecast, the DOC website, and trail conditions before heading out. Consider shorter, lower-altitude hikes like Bob's Cove or the Tiki Trail during winter months.

I hope that my Queenstown hiking guide has helped you plan your adventures in New Zealand. I've visited Queenstown more times than I can count and regularly hike these trails. However, if you have any updates or requests to add, let me know in the comments.

Otherwise, check out more New Zealand adventure guides below!

Hiking in the snow near queenstown, new zealand
Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure traveler from Australia. I’ve spent the last six years traveling the world full-time, sharing my first-hand experiences & photography in over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. I visit every destination I write about to bring you unique travel itineraries, epic hiking routes, fun tour ideas, travel & photography gear ideas, & interesting places to stay.

I only make genuine, worthwhile recommendations based on my experience, expertise, & research. If you buy through my links, I may get a commission, supporting this website at no extra cost to you. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.