Moke Lake, located down a bumpy gravel road, is the perfect size to comfortably walk around in a couple of hours. It’s surrounded by golden hills which reflect perfectly in the calm waters — it’s fairly off the beaten path and is easily one of the best short hikes near Queenstown.
Hiking Around Moke Lake
From the car park you’ll see the track winding its way around the lake. The sign says it takes 2.5 hours, but I was in a hurry and did it in 90 minutes (I’m not very fit either, just motivated to get home on time!). The first part of the hike takes you on the shaded side of the lake (in winter). It was really frosty, so if you’re doing the Moke Lake hike in winter make sure you wear good shoes (the track on the other side of the lake was also muddy).
The track continues around the lake until you reach a gate. From there you walk through some farm land and up the hill on the other side of the lake. You end up on a little peninsula thing, and there’s a track which goes down to the end of it. There’s no sign, but keep heading up instead of taking the downhill track (unless you want a detour).
From there it’s pretty straight forward. You’ll eventually end up on the road leading to the car park — keep walking (watch out for cars) and you’ll wind up back at your car.
It’s a very easy hike and the views along the way are pretty awesome. It’s not your typical Queenstown hike (there are no views of Lake Wakatipu or the Remarkables) but it’s definitely worth doing if you have the time. I’d avoid it if the weather is poor though — the reflections in Moke Lake make it special and it probably won’t look that impressive on a grey day.
Getting to Moke Lake
The road to Moke Lake turns off the Queenstown to Glenorchy road. It eventually turns into a gravel road where you’ll see a sign saying it’s only suitable for 4WDs. I ignored it (as did the 3 or 4 other cars in the Moke Lake car park) and while it was a bit rough in parts it shouldn’t cause too many problems.
The road to Glenorchy is one of New Zealand’s most scenic and there are a few cool places to stop, including Bob’s Cove. Check out my other posts on the Queenstown region!
READ MORE: Hiking at Bob’s Cove, Queenstown
Are you planning a trip to Queenstown? Which hikes will you do? Let me know in the comments below!
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