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Moke Lake, Queenstown

Moke Lake, Queenstown

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 one of the best short hikes near Queenstown.

Walking Around Moke Lake

From the car park you’ll see the track winding 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 takes you along the shaded side of the lake (in winter). It was really frosty — if you’re doing it in winter make sure to wear good shoes as it’s 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’re keen for 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. There’s also a viewpoint above the lake which I hadn’t heard of before I went there. I’m pretty sure it’s not signed — I’ll head there soon and find out the situation.

READ MORE: 14 of the Best Walks in Queenstown

Getting There

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 other cars at 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 nearby, including Bob’s Cove and Mount Chrichton  Check out my other posts on the Queenstown region!

Are you planning a trip to Queenstown? Check out our Queenstown Travel Guide for all the tips you’ll need!

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Jon Algie

I'm a South Island local -- born in Timaru and raised in Dunedin. I left the island in 2006 and returned 10 years later. Having seen a good chunk of the world I realised how special this place is -- the most beautiful island in the world! Seven years (and almost 400 posts) later I'm still helping locals and tourists alike plan their trips around the South Island.