Our pick of the best walks & hiking tracks in Queenstown
There are so many great walks in Queenstown, it’s hard to decide which are the best. I really like the walk around Moke Lake, although I confess I biked it! Lake Hayes is also a favorite. See the full list of walks a bit further down this page. I haven’t managed to hike the Queenstown Hill Track yet, but I will next time we are in town. It’s meant to have more fantastic views of Queenstown. Or better yet, walk up the Tiki Trail to the top of the Skyline Gondola and paraglide down – wow that’s fun.
Must do while in Queenstown:
Experience the awesome views from the top of the Skyline Gondola. Take a one way trip on the Gondola and save money! Mad as it may seem, I actually walked up the Tiki Trail to the top of the Skyline Gondola. This rewarded me with totally stunning views over Queenstown and the amazing Remarkable mountains. Far less exhausting would be to enjoy the ride up and walk back down, but then you miss out on the great workout! You only pay for a one way ticket which you buy at the top.
If you decide to do the ride both ways you can skip the queue and buy your Skyline Gondola tickets now. The queue can get quite long, especially if a bus load of tourists arrive all at once.
Another awesome way to see Queenstown if you don’t want to walk around is to take do a tour. Book the best of Queenstown sightseeing tour in a luxury van. If you’re limited for time and really want to check out Milford Sound while you’re in Queenstown, then fly over there, do a cruise and fly back.
What’s the weather like in Queenstown right now?
Our list of the best walks in Queenstown
We’ve personally walked and photographed all the walks in Queenstown listed below. You’ll see detailed information on each walk including track times, distance, track quality, hazards, difficultly, map, river crossings, photos, track points plus dogs and bike access.
After your walk take a ride to Milford Sound while you’re still in Queenstown, this tour is the best value:
Start the tour with a hotel pick up from your Queenstown accommodation in one of our luxury vehicles. Travel in style and comfort in a luxury Mercedes van fully equipped with Wifi and large panoramic windows. Sit back, relax and enjoy the stunning scenery.
On this full day tour to Milford Sound you will experience a stunning scenic boat cruise on the fjord, but you will also see spectacular sights along the way. You’ll have the opportunity to take a leisurely stroll through the majestic native beech forest.
Departs daily all year round at 7am. Allow 13 hours for this tour.
The highlights of the Milford Sound BBQ Experience from Queenstown:
✽ Luxury transfers from Queenstown accommodation
✽ Small group tours (max 19 passengers)
✽ Multiple scenic stops on the journey to Milford Sound
✽ Informative and entertaining commentary
✽ Delicious BBQ lunch
✽ 2 hr small boat nature cruise in Milford
✽ Complimentary bottled water and Wifi on-board the vans
Book your tour instantly now:
Your booking is secure. Freewalks NZ is an official booking agent for this tour to Milford Sound from Queenstown.
Frequently asked questions about Queenstown
You sure can. It’s called the Tiki Walk and they say it will take you 1 hour but I did it just under that taking lots of photos along the way. You’ll zig-zag up the mountain through lovely shaded pine forest. Go to the base of the Gondola and look for the signs to the left of the main entrance. Medium uphill walk.
It can get really cold in Queenstown so be prepared, take a hat and gloves if you’re walking in autumn or winter. Even in summer, take a warm jacket just in case the weather turns bad.
No, is the quick answer on any DOC land, although you can get a permit to fly your drone (from DOC), including private and non-commercial use. Applying for the permit for the first time can be a little tricky, there is a free pre-application meeting then you need to contact the local iwi to assess whether your proposed activity will have any cultural effects. Oh, and it’ll cost you quite a bit for each DOC region you apply to use your drone. Use DOC Maps to help you find each region.
We love going to Queenstown in spring just before summer really kicks in around Sept/Oct. By this time it’s warmed up a little but there is still plenty snow on the mountains. Queenstown weather can be really unpredictable, so be a bit flexible with your plans and always take a jacket on any walk.
Our Tips & Tricks on booking your trip to Queenstown:
Here’s our tips for finding the best prices for your trip to Queenstown.
Lowest Price Guarantee on Campervan Hire from Queenstown Airport – Compare Prices of 15 Motorhome Companies
Jucy Rentals are defiantly the cheapest with a really big range of camper-vans. If you’re looking for a van you can stand up in or with a bit more room then try Mighty. Britz and Maui are very popular and cater for small and really big campers.
Book your rental car from Queenstown Airport here
I’ve found the prices quite competitive for rental cars from DriveNow, they also have a really good selection to choose from. When booking there is a very handy “Live Chat” option if you get stuck.
Places to stay in Queenstown:
You can book a backpacker or hostel with Hostelworld, they have a huge range. If you want to stay at a hotel/motel or private home/holiday home, then use Booking.com. They consistently have the cheapest prices, plus you’ll find the same private houses that Airbnb have but you don’t pay the extra “Service Fee”. I use them all the time in New Zealand and overseas. Here’s Booking.com’s accommodation choices in Queenstown on a handy map.
Don’t forget your travel insurance:
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past especially for medical. I’ve been using World Nomads for years and it’s very good.
Share your walk with us
If you’ve been on one of these walks, please add a comment, we’d love to read about it and share with others. Or visit the our Facebook Group, ask questions, meet people, post photos and share your walking experiences! We’d love to hear from you.
Latest photos from Instagram…
Here’s what we’ve been up to recently on other walks, hikes, biking and anything else we’re doing around New Zealand!