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Queenstown Hill Hike – Everything You Need to Know

Queenstown Hill Hike – Everything You Need to Know

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.

Everything you need to know about hiking to Queenstown Hill, one of the best viewpoints in town!

In terms of epic day hikes from Queenstown, you can’t get much more popular than the Queenstown Hill Hike.

This famous trail has become much more than just an epic view of Queenstown. You could argue that it’s almost a rite of passage for visitors to New Zealand’s adrenaline capital!

This guide details how to get here, trail information and what you might expect.

Queenstown Hill Hike - All You Need to Know

We know that Queenstown Hill is popular, but is it worth it?

In my opinion, if you have a couple of hours to kill and you want an epic view of Queenstown, then I'd consider it a must-do. Like most of the other trails around Queenstown, the Queenstown Hill Hike is easily accessible both by foot and by car.

Queenstown hill summit

Queenstown Hill Hike Start Point

Alright, but where is the Queenstown Hill start point? The trailhead is located on Belfast Terrace, found in the maze of steep, winding suburban hills behind town.

If you're walking from town, then you'll already be in for a 20-minute warm-up on the old legs. The easiest way to find the start point is to follow Google's directions to the pin below.

Queenstown hill hike map

Hiking Route Details

Walking Time: Expect anywhere between 2 to 3 hours return.

Hike Distance: The return trail, including the optional middle loop, is approximately 6 km.

Hike Difficulty: Easy but moderately steep in some segments. Basic fitness is adequate.

Queenstown Hill Elevation: 907 m. The starting point on Belfast Terrace sits at around 500 m, which means you'll gain about 400 m.

Hiking in queenstown
Hiking near the Queenstown Hill Viewpoint

What to Expect on the Queenstown Hill Trail

In true Queenstown fashion, the Queenstown Hill hike starts in suburbian streets and quickly turns into an epic nature track.

The trail leads through thick sections of beech and fir forest before eventually breaking out at the grassy hilltop.

Fir and beech trees on the queenstown hill hike
Thick forest sections of the Queenstown Hill hike

Along the track, there are a few opportunities to sneak an early view of Queenstown through the trees and shrubs. Keep an eye out for possums and brightly colored red mushrooms, but don't think about eating either.

The incline is fairly moderate, but you'll need a general degree of fitness to gain the approximate 400 M of elevation. Since this track is popular for runners and day-hikers, there are a couple of benches to stop and rest at if you need it.

Optional Queenstown Hill "Viewpoint" Loop

At approximately 1.3 km along the trail, you'll come across a fork that splits the track in two. You can follow the left track which leads directly up to the summit or follow the right trail to a "viewpoint".

Unfortunately, the viewpoint isn't much worth the extra 15-minute walk since the treeline now covers most of the view.

However, it might be a good idea to take the left trail up, and mix it up by taking the loop on the way down.

Queenstown hill summit track

RELATED POST: Where to Stay in Queenstown


Queenstown Hill Summit and View

Arriving at the summit of Queenstown Hill, we had excellent views of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu, the Remarkables, and the towering Ben Lomond.

Arguably, you'll get the best views at the Queenstown Hill hike summit, but there are also some smaller hills below if the summit gets crowded.

Queenstown hill track

Where to Stay in Queenstown

I've written a separate, comprehensive 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.

More in Queenstown

I hope this guide to the Queenstown Hill hike answered all of your questions and motivated you to get out and have a crack at some of the epic day hikes in Queenstown.

If you're looking for more things to do in New Zealand's South Island, don't forget to check out some of the posts at the bottom of this blog post.

Alternatively, start with this guide to the 31 Best Hikes on the South Island.

Queenstown hill hike 2020- everything you need to know
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.