Posted by Bella Vista on
As the weather warms up and puts a spring in our step it’s time to pull out those walking shoes and venture into the great outdoors. And what better place to visit than Queenstown!
Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, the longest lake in New Zealand, and surrounded by majestic mountains such as The Remarkables, Queenstown is renowned for its scenic beauty, adventure sports, wineries and amazing walks. The surrounding mountains insulate Queenstown from much of the weather that impacts New Zealand allowing for a dry and sunny climate. Although cold in the winter, there are very few days in the year when a walk of some sort is not possible. In fact, it’s a walkers paradise!
Of course, there are the ‘Great Walks’ that we have all heard of like The Routeburn Track and Milford Track, but there are many day walks around the Wakatipu basin that have spectacular views of Queenstown and the stunning scenery that surrounds this patch of paradise. For many of the best walks you don’t even need to go far from the town centre, making your Queenstown Bella Vista accommodation a perfect base to set out exploring from.
Being one of the closest motels to the CBD, our Queenstown motel is only 5 minutes’ walk from the start of many trails such as the lakefront, Queenstown Hill and Bobs Peak.
Here the team at the Bella Vista motel have shared some of their favourite walks and not all them require an uphill slog.
1. Queenstown Hill Loop
This moderate three-hour walk starts and finishes on Belfast Street, climbs up through pine forest to the ‘Basket of Dreams’, a favourite lookout spot. Continuing through tussock to the summit of Queenstown Hill for magnificent views over The Remarkables, Lake Wakatipu, central Queenstown and surrounding mountains.
2. The Frankton Arm Walkway
The Frankton Arm walkway is a relatively wide flat trail that leads all the way to Frankton alongside the shoreline of Lake Wakatipu. From central Queenstown cross through the beautiful Queenstown Gardens to the start of the walk. There are numerous small beaches to stop at, lake-side houses and gardens that you pass. And a rewarding coffee break can be had at the historic Boatshed Café at the marina.
3.Queenstown Tiki Trail
Starting at the bottom of the Skyline Gondola the Tiki Trail is an iconic trail that winds its way through pine forest towards the lookout at the top. Once there you can relax, enjoy a coffee whilst taking in the magnificent view, or have an exhilarating luge ride before making your way back down, either by the trail or there is an option of journeying down in the Gondola!
A climb of Ben Lomond is not to be missed on any keen walker’s visit to Queenstown. The Tiki Trail, is just the warm up before continuing along the Ben Lomond walkway, heading for the summit, or saddle. At 800m you break out from the pines and walk amongst the alpine tussock and shrubs. Then it’s a steep uphill mission to Ben Lomond’s 1748m summit. Allow 5-8 hours to reach the summit and be prepared for snow above the treeline. On a clear day Mt Earnslaw and Mt Aspiring are visible and a brass plane table identifies the surrounding mountains. The tradition is to climb Ben Lomond before dawn on New Year’s Eve to witness the sunrise. Anyone up for it?
5. Lake Hayes Loop
Situated just 15 mins drive from Queenstown lies the beautiful Lake Hayes, a popular spot for picnics and swimming in the summer, the home to a population of Australasian crested grebe, and the setting for many a wedding. The 8km Lake Hayes loop track is popular with locals and the undulating path circles by its shores or above on a ridgeline with picturesque and stunning views. The best time to walk the track is in the morning when you have a chance to catch the calm reflections of the willow trees, mountains and lakefront houses on the water which is magical.
6. Twelve Mile Loop Track - Mt Creighton Scenic Reserve
Located just 11km from central Queenstown along the Glenorchy Road is this 2-4 hour loop walk that has a great mixture of interests from a beautiful stream, beech forest, historic goldmining, beautiful birdsong and extensive views. The track follows along the floor of an extensive sluiced gully and up to Sam Summers Hut, built by a prospector in the 1930s, crosses a deep gorge on a bridge before climbing to a ridge and descending through beech forest back to the carpark.
7. Kelvin Grove Walk – Kelvin Peninsula
Another popular locals’ trail, this well-formed easy 1-2hr walk is on the sunny side of the Frankton Arm and is the more attractive of the two Frankton Arm tracks. The track passes several beaches and attractive rocky shelves and is a great opportunity for a close-up view of some of the finest private homes in the Wakatipu. The Earnslaw slipway is a notable historic feature to look out for as you circle around the golf course at the tip of the peninsula.
At the Bella Vista Queenstown, you'll also enjoy the convenience of being located near to shops and restaurants during your stay and whilst central, the motel is also very quiet allowing you a good night's sleep after your invigorating walk in the mountain air.
Book now by phoning 0800 BELLA VISTA or visit our website www.bellavista.co.nz to secure your Queenstown accommodation and start planning which walks you are inspired to explore.