10 Best Walks in Queenstown© Destination Queenstown
10 Best Walks in Queenstown

15 Best Walks in Queenstown šŸ„¾ Short Walks to Day Hikes

© Destination Queenstown
Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
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The Best Walks and Hikes in Queenstown

Want to stretch your legs in Queenstown? Making use of the walking trails is an ideal way to soak in the scenery, as well as save some precious cents in a town that can easily leave you feeling bankrupt. In this list of walks in Queenstown, we’ve included an array of short walks in town to day hikes just a short drive away.

Plan more of your Queenstown trip using The Complete Travel Guide to Queenstown. Plus, don’t forget to book a place to stay from The 50 Best Accommodations in Queenstown.

1. Queenstown Hill Walk (2 Hours Loop) – The Best Walk in Queenstown

Get some stellar views while working your legs on this steep but short walk in Queenstown. Starting from in town on Belfast Street, the Queenstown Hill Loop is a steady two-hour loop incorporating pine forest and open hills. You’ll also find the Basket of Dreams sculpture.

Location: Belfast Street, Queenstown.

10 Best Walks in Queenstown© NZPocketGuide.com

2. The Tiki Trail (1 Hour One-Way) – The Best Walk from Queenstown Town Centre

Instead of paying to take the gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak, hike your way there on the Tiki Trail. The track is easy to find at the bottom of the gondola, taking you through pine forest on a steady zig-zagging journey to attractions such as The Luge and Ziptrek Ecotours (more info on Viator, Tripadvisor, Klook or KKday).

Location: End of Beacon Street, Queenstown.

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3. Ben Lomond (3-4 or 6-8 Hours Return) – The Best Day Hike in Queenstown

If you’re looking for a challenging day hike in Queenstown then make it the Ben Lomond Track. Get spectacular views from the exposed alpine Ben Lomond Saddle (3-4 hours) or 1,748m (5,735ft) summit (6-8 hours). Note that this hike isn’t suitable to do in winter unless you have alpine experience with crampons, ice axes, etc. See our guide to the Queenstown Weather & Climate to check out the local seasons.

Location: Start from either the Tiki Trail at the end of Beacon Street, the One Mile Creek Track from the Fernhill roundabout or the top of Skyline Access Road, Queenstown.

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4. Frankton Arm Walkway (3 Hours One Way) – The Best Wheelchair-Accessible Walk in Queenstown

A wheelchair, stroller and bike-friendly trail on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, the Frankton Arm Walkway connects the Queenstown Gardens to the suburb of Frankton. It’s a flat and easy walk with seats and jetties to sit on and take in the scenery.

Location: Queenstown Gardens, Park Street, Queenstown.

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5. One Mile Creek Track (1 Hour Return) – The Best Secret Walk in Queenstown

A bit of a local secret in Queenstown, the One Mile Creek Track is an alternative route to get to Bob’s Peak (taking a little over an hour). The main event on this trail, however, is the remains of one of New Zealand’s first hydroelectric power schemes at One Mile Dam. You’ll follow a pipeline through some of the closest native forest to Queenstown.

Location: Fernhill roundabout, Lake Esplanade, Queenstown.

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6. Lake Alta Track (1h30mins Return) – The Best Secret Hike in Queenstown

Take the steep alpine climb of the Lake Alta Track to a stunning glacier lake. You’ll ascend 200m (656ft) from the start of the track where the last part of the climb features information panels to learn more about the environment. Plus, it’s also a Lord of the Rings filming location in Queenstown! To avoid the snow, the walk is best done in summer. Get more tips for hiking this trail from our friends at New Zealand Sorted.

Location: End of the Remarkables Ski Field Access Road, approximately 23km (14 miles) from Queenstown.

10 Best Walks in Queenstown© Unsplash

7. Bob’s Cove Track (20 Minutes One Way) – The Best Short Walk in Queenstown

Enjoy an easy picturesque walk through native bush on the Bob’s Cove Track. The track features good views over Lake Wakatipu, as well as opportunities for swimming. For a longer walk, connect to the Twelve Mile Delta Track (2-4 hours return) for more lake views and another Lord of the Rings location or the Bob’s Cove Bridle Track (1-2 hours return).

Location: Start from either Twelve Mile Delta Road or Mt Crichton Track car park, approximately 12km (7.5 miles) from Queenstown.

10 Best Walks in Queenstown© NZPocketGuide.com

8. Moke Lake Loop Track (2-3 Hours Loop) – The Most Scenic Walk in Queenstown

A picturesque lake in the mountains somewhere behind Queenstown, Moke Lake has both a campground and a walking trail. Take the Moke Lake Loop Track to cross a boardwalk over a wetland then over undulating grassland as the trail circumvents the lake. The final part of the walk returns on the gravel road back to the start.

Location: Moke Lake Road, approximately 14.5km (9 miles) from Queenstown.

10 Best Walks in Queenstown© Unsplash

9. Lake Dispute Track (1h30mins Return) – The Best Adventure Hike in Queenstown

Taking hikers to another stunning high country lake, the Lake Dispute Track zigzags through shrubland. Either return the same way to make a 1h30mins walk or continue on the Mt Crichton Loop Track (2h30mins loop) or connect to Moke Lake on the Lake Dispute to Moke Lake Track (3-4 hours one way).

Location: Signposted along Glenorchy-Queenstown Road, approximately 10.5km (6.5 miles) from Queenstown.

10 Best Walks in Queenstown© NZPocketGuide.com

10. Lake Hayes Walkway (2-3 Hours Return) – The Best Family Walk in Queenstown

Enjoy an easy but long stroll around the scenic Lake Hayes on the Lake Hayes Walkway. The walk is stroller-friendly and offers beautiful scenes of surrounding mountains and willow trees reflecting on the water.

Location: There are several starting locations but a popular place to start with plenty of parking at the Lake Hayes Reserve, found on a gravel road off Arrowtown-Lake Hayes Road. The start of the walk from this location is approximately 16.5km (10 miles) from Queenstown.

10 Best Walks in Queenstown© Destination Queenstown

11. Glenorchy Lagoon Walkway (1-2 Hour Loop) – The Best Walk in Glenorchy

Moving a little further away from Queenstown, if you’re up for a day trip to Glenorchy then don’t miss the Glenorchy Lagoon Walkway. This fantastic walk for all fitness levels crosses wetlands over boardwalks with the opportunity to spot birdlife. The one to two-hour loop features a lagoon on the shorter loop and a scenic lookout on the longer loop. While you’re in the area, don’t miss the 10 Best Things to Do in Glenorchy.

Location: Signposted from Mull Street, Glenorchy, approximately 46km (28.5 miles) from Queenstown.

10 Best Walks in Queenstown© Unsplash

12. Routeburn Track (2-4 Days) – The Best Multi-Day Hike Near Queenstown

Experience one of the acclaimed Great Walks of New Zealand by hiking the Routeburn Track. Although the complete journey takes two to four days, day walks can be enjoyed by walking the one-hour Routeburn Nature Walk or to the Routeburn Flats Hut and back taking approximately three to five hours return. Day hikes can also be enjoyed on guided experiences (with transport included) with Nomad Safarissee Viator, Tripadvisor or Klook for more details or to book your tour.

Location: Start from the Routeburn Shelter, Routeburn Road, approximately 71km (44 miles) from Queenstown.

10 Best Walks in Queenstown© NZPocketGuide.com

13. Lake Sylvan Track (1h40mins Loop) – The Best Wilderness Walk Near Queenstown

Another excellent hike near Glenorchy is the easy-going Lake Sylvan Track. The 1h40mins loop walk is accessible for most fitness levels, taking you through towering forest and over an old river terrace to the shores of a picturesque lake. There are also opportunities to spot robins, fantail and riflemen along the way.

Location: Lake Sylvan car park, signposted off Routeburn Road, approximately 69km (43 miles) from Queenstown.

10 Best Walks in Queenstown© Unsplash

14. Mt Judah Track (1-3 Hours One Way) – The Best Day Hike in Glenorchy

Get gorgeous views and discover mining relics on the Mt Judah Track found along the Queenstown-Glenorchy Road. Advance up the Mt Judah Road sidling around Mt Judah where you’ll come across the Glenorchy Sheelite Battery and State Mine before reaching the Bonnie Jean Hut. For those with a little more energy, you can continue to the Heather Jock Hut which is an additional 1-1h30mins one way.

Location: Whakaari Conservation Area car park, signposted off Queenstown-Glenorchy Road, approximately 44km (27 miles) from Queenstown.

10 Best Walks in Queenstown© Stu Hardie - Department of Conservation

15. Arrowtown River Trail (20 Minutes to 1 Hour Loop) – The Best Walk in Arrowtown

Soak up the nature and scenery of the beautiful Arrowtown River Trail. At least enjoy the 20 minutes of the walk starting from town and taking you along the Arrow River, then turn onto the Arrowtown Anniversary Walk shaded by pretty sycamore, willow and larch trees. Alternatively, do the full river loop walk by crossing the footbridge, which takes about one hour to complete. Combine this walk with the 10 Best Things to Do in Arrowtown.

Location: Butlers Green, Arrowtown, approximately 20km (12.4 miles) from Queenstown.

10 Best Walks in Queenstown© Unsplash

More Walks in Queenstown

That’s it for our list of the best walks and hikes in Queenstown. Do you have more energy to burn? Check out these other amazing hikes and free Queenstown attractions you can’t miss:


The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Laura S.

This article has been reviewed and published by Laura, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Laura is a first-class honours journalism graduate and a travel journalist with expertise in New Zealand and South Pacific tourism for over 10 years. She also runs travel guides for five of the top destinations in the South Pacific and is the co-host of over 250 episodes of the NZ Travel Show on YouTube.

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