Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
1,650.00 ft (502.92 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
5.30 mi (8.53 km)
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This 4.3 mile out-and-back trail up Queenstown Hill is a perfect family-friendly hike with beautiful views of this world-reknowned adventure town located on New Zealand's South Island. This 2,975 foot mountain has the Māori name of Te Tapu-nui, or “mountain which signifies intense sacredness,” and is an easily accessible hike from downtown Queenstown. This trail, or track, starts up a steep neighborhood hill off of Belfast Terrace, just half a mile from the downtown visitor center. The Queenstown Hill Walkway trail in Queenstown Hill Recreation Reserve is firm packed dirt, and is quite steep as it winds up several switchbacks through the forest of Douglas fir and larch trees. The trees shade the trail, which offers several rock sculptures and informational signs for children and families to enjoy. The signs explain some of the geographical history of the region, including of Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown.

At the first viewpoint around one mile into the hike, there is the ‘Basket of Dreams,’ a large steel basket-shaped sculpture. Some hikers choose to turn back after reaching this sculpture. From the ‘Basket of Dreams’ viewpoint, there is a final steep climb to the summit at around 2.2 miles. The summit, at almost 3,000 feet high, offers breathtaking views of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu, and the surrounding mountains, including The Remarkables, Cecil Peak, and Bayonet Peaks across the lake. After enjoying the beautiful views from the summit, hikers can return to the trailhead via the same trail.

Although this hike follows a challenging and strenuous trail uphill for over 2 miles, it is a good option for adventurous families looking for a fun, challenging half-day or full-day activity. Although the trail is open year round, be prepared for snow on the trail in the winter. In any season, be prepared by bringing plenty of water and some snacks, and of course, don’t forget your camera!

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Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Great views. Accessible from city. Interesting sculpture.

Trailhead Elevation

1,443.00 ft (439.83 m)

Highest point

2,976.00 ft (907.08 m)

Features

Near lake or river
Geologically significant
Historically significant
Family friendly

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

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