Queenstown is rich with things to do but if you’re on a tight budget then one of the best free things you can do is hike the Queenstown Hill Walk.
The 1.5km return track is a moderate hike that slowly inclines as it makes its way up the mountain. The path is clear and easy to follow as it winds it’s way up the mountain through a pine forest. The walk was created to celebrate the millennium and is very popular with both tourists and locals. You will feel a slight burn in your legs as you reach the peak but the views at the top are well worth the pain.
Also known as Te Tapu-nui or “mountain of intense sacredness” the walk is also a great place to learn about the history of Queenstown. There are six information plaques on the way up that outline the history of Queenstown from the Maori settlement to the Queenstown we see today. Before you reach the summit you will also come across the Basket of Dreams, a wire sculpture created by Caroline Robinson. Some people call it a day when they reach the basket as the views from here are still breathtaking, however we recommend hiking another 20 minutes to the summit where you’ll be greeted with the best panoramic views of The Remarkables, Lake Wakitupu and Cecil Peak.
The Queenstown hill Walk is a great way to spend an afternoon without having to travel out of town. It boasts some of the best views around and is a great workout. Strap on you’re hiking boots and go exploring.
G E T T I N G T H E R E
The best thing about this walk is that it is located in the centre of town, The track starts and ends on Belfast Street however you can walk from the centre of town. There is free parking on the street where the track begins which will save you having to walk the extra mile up the hill. Mountain bikes are prohibited on the track and dogs are allowed so long as they are on a leash.