Just minutes from the bustling hub of the town centre, the Queenstown Hill trail has to be one of the most popular and accessible scenic walks in Queenstown. The gentle gradient and stunning scenery make it enjoyable for the whole family, and young and old alike will find the trail a pleasure to hike.
For newcomers arriving in Queenstown the trail is a must do activity, it provides a perfect introduction to New Zealand's stunning flora and fauna, as well as a great warm up for some of the bigger hikes found close to town. The walk takes between 1.5 and 2.5 hours depending on which route you choose.
The walk begins amongst the Douglas Fir forest, and will take you through a spectacular display of cairn rock sculptures made by previous walkers. From here the trail spreads into open grassland, with terrific views of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and the striking mountain peaks which dominate the skyline. Atop the hill is Basket of Dreams sculpture, built to commemorate the Millennium.
Those who choose to can continue their hike upwards another 500 metres to the true peak for stunning panoramic views, alternatively the loop track can be followed to to rejoin the main trail below.
How to get there
From the center of town walk up Ballarat Street, then continue up onto Mallaghan street. There is a staircase through a small copse that leads up onto Kerry Drive, take a left and follow the road round to the right and you will see the Queenstown Hill Walkway sign. More information, and a detailed map can be found on the sign.