As backpackers, we love to save money anywhere we can! Queenstown is known as the “Adventure Capitol of the World!” There’s a million and one different things to do in Queenstown, but all the activities can get a bit expensive. A great way to save money while still getting to know this beautiful little city is to take advantage of all the wonderful walks and hiking tracks.
There are a TON of different hikes in Queenstown and the surrounding area, but for now we’ll just go over the 3 main tracks accessible in walking distance from Queenstown CBD.
- Sunshine Bay Walk
This pleasant 45 minute (return) walk takes you along Lake Wakatipu to the Sunshine Bay jetty and car park. You will walk through small but lush New Zealand plant life and come upon quite a few private beaches where you’re free to relax or go for a swim in the chilly glacier Lake Wakatipu water. Insider Tip: When you come to visit, make sure to ask a local about Little Thailand just a bit farther down off the track!
- Queenstown Hill Walk
This manageable walk takes you 500m through a pine forest and rewards you with a 360 degree view of beautiful Queenstown from the top! The walk will take you roughly 2-3 hours round trip so be sure to take lots of water. At the top, you’ll find the giant iron “Dream Basket,” for that picture perfect, “I made it!” moment.
- Ben Lomond Track
This track starts at the top of the Gondola, which you can also hike up! This is definitely a day long track, as it will take you 3-4 hours return to get to Ben Lomond Saddle or 6-8 hours return to get all the way to the top of the summit. The last bit is quite steep, but certainly worth it! You’ll be rewarded with an incredible 360 degree view of Queenstown and the surrounding areas, showing some of the amazing untouched mountains.
Next time you come to Queenstown, put your wallets away and get out those hiking boots! It’s an expensive city, but there’s some amazing FREE nature out there to view! Let us know how your hike went with a comment below!