Queenstown

Hiking up Queenstown Hill

A trip to Queenstown wouldn’t be complete without getting off the streets and onto a hiking trail. The Queenstown Hill track has the perfect mix of stunning views and (relatively) easy hiking — keep reading for more details!

Starting the Hike

I hiked up Queenstown Hill in winter and it was freezing. There was frost everywhere but the track was still in great shape — it was steeper than I expected though. I had to stop a few times to catch my breath, but 30 minutes (more or less) later I was at the top. Or that’s what I thought.

It looks like an official viewpoint but trees obscure the view. You’ll have to climb higher!

A Scenic Detour

While hiking up to the Queenstown Hill summit I decided to embark on a detour (take the narrower track on the left if you want to do the same). This track took me around a ridge and then past a small frozen lake. The views back over Queenstown and the snow-covered mountains surrounding it were awesome, and it’s a different angle than most people see. It felt like I was miles away from civilization up there and I didn’t see any other hikers on that trail.

For a while I thought I was lost as the track kind of disappeared, but I eventually made it out to a road and from there various viewpoints of the Queenstown Hill summit came into  view.

A Remarkable view

Bad mountain range based puns aside, the view from the top of Queenstown Hill is pretty amazing. There are several little hills you can climb — it’s quite a big area and there didn’t seem to be one main viewpoint.

The Queenstown Hill hike is renowned for having some of the best views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables, and it definitely lives up to the hype. Hiking to the summit requires a bit of effort but most people should be able to handle it. It took me just over two hours (including quite a long detour), so it won’t put too much of a dent in your day.

Getting to the Queenstown Hill Track

The start of the track is located on Belfast Terace. Turn onto Dublin street from the main road into Queenstown, then Edinburgh Terrace and then onto Belfast Terrace. It’s easy to find and you could walk from the centre of town if you had to.

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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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