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Top 5 short walks in and around Queenstown

Posted by Kate Fahey: 28th Jul 2014 @ 17:10:56

There are so many great walks that you can do in Queenstown, but here is a list of our top 5 tracks. You can't go too wrong if you choose to take a stroll. walk or hike along these must do Queenstown trails:

1. Queenstown Hill - Basket of Dreams

The 500-metre climb through pine forest to the summit of Queenstown Hill - Te Tapu-nui (mountain of intense sacredness) is well rewarded by the views.

You'll know when you reach the top as you find the popular 'Basket of Dreams' sculpture. You must take your camera to capture the spectacular views across Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu.

Getting There: This track starts and ends on Belfast Terrace in Queenstown.
Walking Time: 3 hours return
Track/Fitness Level: Moderate


2. Tiki Trail - Skyline Gondola

This steep, zig zag climb through the Ben Lomond Reserve pine forest emerges on the Skyline Access Road and follows to the summit of the Skyline Gondola, 450 metres above Queenstown.

You walk past the Ziptrek Ecotours ziplines and Mountain Biking tracks which provides some good entertainment, especially through the peak summer months.

This is a great walk if you're on a budget but still want to take a picture of the iconic view of the Remarkables from the Skyline viewing deck. Walking is free!

Looking for a longer walk? Join the Fernhill Loop track or take on the day hike to Ben Lomond summit.

Getting There: The trail head starts at the Skyline Gondola Base building
Walking Time: 1.5 hour return
Track/Fitness Level: Moderate


3. Bob's Cove Track

Bob's Cove (Te Punatapu, the sacred waters) is a beautiful secluded escape just 10 minutes' drive from Queenstown. The crystal clear deep blue waters of Lake Wakatipu are sure to be seen here as you walk past native red beech forest, historic limekilns and gum trees.

Take the short loop to the top of the Bob's Cove peninsula for epic views across the lake or follow the track through to connecting 12 mile delta.

Getting There: 14 km from Queenstown on the Glenorchy Rd
Walking Time: 1 hour
Track/ Fitness Level: Easy


4. Sam Summers - Mt Crichton Loop Track

Another great track along the Glenorchy Road just outside of Queenstown. This track is in the Mt Crichton Scenic Reserve, with car parking access clearly marked from the road approx. 10 minutes' drive from Queenstown. The track takes you along the 12 mile creek gorge and passes mountain beech and mānuka, with red beech in the gullies.

Sam Summers hut approx. 45 minutes into the walk reminds you of the gold mining history and signs of sluicing can still be seen in the creek below.

Fantastic views over Lake Dispute and Lake Wakatipu are your reward for reaching the top of the loop before descending with views of Mt Crichton to your right.

Getting There: 10km from Queenstown on Glenorchy Rd
Walking Time: 2 - 4 hours
Track/ Fitness Level: Easy to Moderate


5. Lake Hayes Walkway

Stroll, walk, run or cycle around a lake surrounded by spectacular mountains. Easy wide trail with great spots to stop and take in the view. A wetlands boardwalk at the south end of the lake is great for spotting the local wildlife, while the north end provides wide open grasslands perfect for a family picnic and a game a cricket or football with the kids.

Getting There: Take State Hwy 6 out of Queenstown to Lake Hayes. Approx. 15 minutes' drive from central Queenstown.
Start/Finish:?Lake Hayes Pavilion on SH 6; Bendemeer Bay; North Lake Hayes picnic area; Arrowtown Rd and Rutherford Rd (off Speargrass Flat Rd).
Walking Time: 2- 3 hours Loop
Track/Fitness Level: Easy

Queenstown snow season 2014

Posted by Dave Fahey: 24th Jul 2014 @ 18:57:03

I’m one of those lucky Queenstowners that gets to live the dream daily ripping around in Jetboats for a living, but even still it's fair to say that "The worst day on the mountain is still better than the best day at work". The 2014 season has been no exception. While the season did take a little bit to kick into gear it is certainly making up for it now. 

With all four mountains now up and operational, skiers and boarders have been treated with some amazing bluebird days and some great snow to go with it. While snow falls have not been as plentiful as we may like them to be (are they ever?), some cool crisp nights have made way to stunning crystal clear days with cold temperatures that have produced and held a dry, chalky and stable snow pack. 

It's hard not to get fired up with all of the bluebird photos that are circulating social media at the moment. It's been awesome to see hills filled with families and groups of mates, carving groomers, dropping rocks and sliding rails all with massive smiles on faces, all completely stoked to be on the mountain.

Those who choose to look a little further and earn the turn are finding some awesome pockets of crisp dry powder days after snowfalls. The lucky few who get to use helicopters as their mode of mountain transport are also arriving back in town with epic stories of mountains conquered, powder lines slayed, and untracked, uncrowded mountains ridden run after run & all under blue skies and shining sun.

As a local skier the only complaint I have is work is still getting in the way of me skiing 7 days a week. And as I sit here reflecting on an awesome couple of days on the mountain with great mates, I can't help but look forward to my next days off, when inevitably all those routine home jobs will get pushed aside for another two days of skiing. The only decision really is which mountain?

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