Photo by: Queenstown NZ
Time needed: 1.5 - 2 hours
Distance: 3-5km return
Trail: moderate to challenging
Starting point: Belfast Terrace car park (or downtown if you want to add some extra elevation). View on Google Maps.
Highlight: Basket of Dreams
Don’t be fooled by the 2.5km length, the muscle in this Queenstown Hill hike is all in the 500 metre elevation gain. If you’re fit you’ll eat it for breakfast but we suggest taking your time through the pine forest as you wind your way through the town’s history. You’ll find six “stops” on the Time Trail with information and illustrations revealing Queenstown’s original Maori settlements and the region’s gold rush era.
You’ll be rewarded at the top of Te Tapunui with the Basket of Dreams sculpture created for Queenstown’s Millenium Project combing art, landscape and heritage. If you have any breath left after the climb then expect it to be taken away by the jaw dropping views of Lake Wakatipu, the Remarkables, Cecil’s Peak and Bob’s Peak plus the town below. Remember to continue on to do the loop track for more views.
Tiki Trail, straight up to the skies
Time needed: an hour one way
Distance: 2.1km one way
Trail: Moderate but steep
Starting point: Gondola base station on Brecon St. View on Google Maps.
Highlight: The woods
An iconic Queenstown trail for those who like to earn their vistas. The trail is filled with Douglas Firs and native beech and takes hikers to Bob’s Peak where dare devils throw themselves off with nothing but a bungee rope tied to their ankles. You’ll share some cross sections of the trail with mountain bikers so do keep an eye out. Once you pop out of the woods expect to drink in lake and town views.
Take a luge, zipline or bungee at the top or sip on a cocktail at the Skyline Gondola restaurant while watching everyone else, then catch the gondola back down, or continue on the Ben Lomond trail (see below) or turn around and challenge your knees on the hike back down.
Ben Lomond, day tripper