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 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 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.
UP FOR A QUEENSTOWN DAY-HIKING CHALLENGE: DON’T MISS THE BEN LOMOND HIKE
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 6KM.
Hike Difficulty: Easy but moderately steep in some segments. Basic fitness is adequate.
Queenstown Hill Elevation: 907M. The starting point on Belfast Terrace sits at around 500M, which means you’ll gain about 400M.
DON’T MISS: GUIDE TO THE 8 BEST HIKES IN QUEENSTOWN
What to Expect
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.
Along the track, there are a few opportunities to sneak an early view of Queenstown through the trees and shrub. 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 “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 minutes 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.
Essential New Zealand Travel Resources
How to Find Cheap Flights
Still in the planning stage of your trip? The best and easiest way to find cheap flights is to use an airfare search engine like Skyscanner.
TIP: If you’re flexible on dates, search for “Whole Month” to see a calendar result with the cheapest days to fly.
Comparing Best Deals on Accommodation
Whether you’re looking for hostels, hotels, guest houses, or resorts between Booking.com and Agoda, you’ll always get the best deals. I always search using the map feature to find accommodation in the best locations. Sometimes, if I want to stay in a place a little longer, I’ll use Airbnb.
TIP: For the best hostels, I usually compare reviews on Hostelworld, then check other booking sites to compare prices and deals.
Saving Money on Experiences and Tours
New Zealand is all about adventure and adrenaline. For the best deals on tours, adrenaline sports and experiences you’ll need to book online. I always use Klook, Viator and Get Your Guide. Booking in advance is the best way to get the best possible deals on Bungy, Milford Sound Trips and more!
Don’t Forget Adventure Travel Insurance
If you’re reading this blog then you’re more likely to be seeking adventures over poolside sips. By far, my two favorite companies for the most comprehensive adventure travel insurance is World Nomads and SafetyWing. If you’re on the fence, you can read the comparison article.
TIP: If you’re looking for a budget, reliable camper, Spaceships is a good bet. You’ll also find great car rental deals on RentalCars.com Also, make sure to download the Spaceships App, WikiCamps App, and Campermate App to find free campsites and facilities.
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.
Where to Stay in Queenstown
Where I stayed: Spaceship Car
During my recent visit to New Zealand, 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.
Cheapest Hostel in Queenstown: Base Backpackers
Queenstown is known for a lot of things; adrenaline sports, epic day hikes, and awesome nightlife. What it’s not known for is anything to do with the word cheap. In saying that, if you book ahead, you’ll still be able to get a dorm bed for under $25NZD at Base Backpackers.
Lakefront Hostel with a Vibe: YHA Queenstown Lakefront
YHA opposite the incredible Lake Wakatipu is one of the best and highest-rated hostels in Queenstown. If you’re looking to meet other adventure travelers, be close to the action and prefer a comfortable dorm bed, don’t look past YHA Lakefront.
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.
MORE THINGS TO DO IN QUEENSTOWN
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- Mirrorless Camera: Canon R5
- Drone: DJI Mavic Pro 2
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- All-Round Lens: Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L
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- Long Action Pole: Insta360 Invisible Pole (BulletTime)
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- Camera Backpack: F-Stop Tilopa
- Favorite Photography Accessory: Peak Design Capture Clip
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