Queenstown

Hiking Around Lake Hayes, Queenstown

One of my favourite photos from the Queenstown region was taken while hiking around Lake Hayes. It was in winter, the hills surrounding the lake were dusted with snow and everything was perfectly reflected in the glass-like water. This small lake, 14 km from Queenstown, is popular with dog-walking locals and cyclists, but the two hour hike is a great option for anyone who finds themselves in Queenstown and wants a nice relaxing walk.

Hiking around Lake Hayes

It takes around two hours to hike around Lake Hayes and the good news is that it’s mostly flat. It’s one of the easier hikes in the region, but if you don’t have the time it’s fine to just do a small section (that’s what we did the first time). I started the circumnavigation of Lake Hayes at the main car park and walked anti-clockwise — which way you do it will probably be determined by the time of day and the light. The best photo was from that first stretch (I did it in the late afternoon in winter) but the whole hike was enjoyable.

Hiking Lake Hayes in Winter, Queenstown, New Zealand

There are some nice little bays and coves as you get to the lower part of the track and the views in all directions are stunning (I took the photos below on our previous  visit as it was completely in shadow when I hiked it). The Lake Hayes hike is probably better in winter / spring as a little bit of snow really brings the scenery to life.

The Lake Hayes Track, Queenstown, New ZealandHiking Around Lake Hayes, Queenstown, New ZealandLake Hayes, Queenstown, New Zealand

Other Hikes in and Around Queenstown

There are so many hiking options in and around Queenstown and I certainly haven’t done them all. I’ve done a few though — Queenstown Hill and Bob’s Cove really stand out (and they are also fairly easy). I haven’t tackled the more strenuous hikes such as Ben Lomond yet but they are on the list!

READ MORE: Hiking the Queenstown Hill Track

Queenstown Hill, New Zealand

Queenstown Hill

Getting to Lake Hayes

Lake Hayes is around 14 km from Queenstown — if you’re arriving by car from Central Otago it’s a great place to stop on the way through. It’s very close to Arrowtown, one of New Zealand’s nicest small towns. There are also some scenic roads in the area so it’s good to explore a bit and see what you find.

READ MORE: Walking the Historic Streets of Arrowtown

Walking the historic streets of Arrowtown, New Zealand

Arrowtown

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Jon Algie

A travel blogger from New Zealand who has just returned home after 6 years abroad. Join me as I see as much of the South Island as I can.
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