Hiking to Ben Lomond — Queenstown — New Zealand

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(Edited)

Ben Lomond must be my favorite day’s hike in Queenstown, the track crosses the forest and different New Zealand alpine terrain, not to mention the location right at the heart of town.

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I love a lively town, but if you ever want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Queenstown, what could be a better way than hiking to the top of the town, right?

There are a few ways you can reach Ben Lomond summit, but my favorite one is going via Tiki trail, and most people would do this one.

Tiki trail starts at the bottom of the Gondola cable car, it’s quite challenging for me with an elevation of over 400 meters. You can also take the shortcut and ride the cable car to the Bob’s peak which is the end of Tiki trail, that would save you at least one hour and a lot of effort as well, but I guess for a hiking enthusiast, you would go all the way, not take the shortcut, LOL.

Ben Lomond has distinct beauty in different seasons, I have done the Tiki trail a few times but only summited Ben Lomond once. I would love to reach the peak in the winter, however, it comes with great challenges for inexperienced hikers and could be impossible in worse weather conditions.

Tiki trail

The track starts at the bottom of Gondola, on the right-hand side, you may see a line waiting for the cable car to get to the Skyline complex, follow the path on the left-hand side, you would see the trailhead, they even have a big board, you cannot miss it.

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This trail is listed as moderate, which means it’s not difficult, however, I find it difficult as it is a constant uphill climb, most of the track is steep. In the winter, it was really cold, the track was covered with frost and very icy. In the summer, it was really cool as it is shaded by the pine forest. Even though, I always complained about how hard this part was, I actually enjoyed it a lot.

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The track in the winter

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summertime - the pine forest

You can also see a section for ziplining, it looked really exciting “flying” in the middle of the forest.

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In the last part of the trail, the track emerges with the biking track, so be careful, when you see the dirt and wide track, it is good news ‘cause it almost reaches the Skyline complex which is Bob’s peak.

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I always stopped here to admire the stunning vista of Queenstown, the Remarkables and the surrounding areas, of course, don’t forget to have some snacks to reward yourself after completing the first challenge here, you deserve it, LOL.

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Riding the luge in the summer

Ben Lomond — 1,748 m.

Now, from the complex, follow the sign, you would go through the plantation forest before entering the tussock area.

This is an open ridge that offers amazing views of the native forest and pine forest on the left side. On a good day, you could see the sighting of Ben Lomond's summit.

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I really enjoyed this part as it is mostly flat. During my attempt in the winter, the beginning of August, I only stopped near the saddle because the rest of the track was blanketed in snow. It is totally doable if you have proper gears such as crampon, ice axe and more importantly, alpine experience. I did see some people went back from the summit, but they warned me not to go further if I wasn’t well-prepared.

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From the saddle, the hike becomes more demanding since the track is steep and some are quite rocky, better to watch your steps on a windy day. It was encouraging to take in the breathtaking view of Wakatipu lake and mountain ranges as we were climbing up.

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For me, the last part was the most frustrating one, you know the feeling when you could see that you almost reach the top, but when you keep walking, it feels like you will never get there. It was like that for me, I think I would never make it if it wasn't for my friend, that was my best decision to do it with them, LOL.

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Looking back on the way to summit

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Can you see the top?

When we reached the summit in the middle of summer, we still saw some melting ice and a few puddles on top.

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As soon as we sighted the top, all of my frustration disappeared, I was overwhelmed by the scale of the surrounding landscape. It is magnificent.

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We also encounter a couple of Kea on top, they were very bold and curious as always.

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View over Wakatipu lake

If you visit Queenstown even for a short time, add Ben Lomond to your list, it is quite challenging but so rewarding. It took me a little over 8 hours return, but if you are fit, it shouldn’t take that long.


So all in all, it is absolutely worth it!



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Đẹp quá chị. chị leo núi việt nam llần chưa

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VN chị mới leo mấy cái trong phía Nam à, ngoài Bắc chưa leo cái nào luôn 😆

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wow so much snow the track in winter looks awesome:)

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Yes, indeed! too bad I couldn't reach the summit in winter 😆

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What an amazing post! your description of the place is very detailed. The pictures are astonishing . thanks for posting !

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Thanks for visiting! It's always great to share with everyone here.
The mountain is amazing itself. 😎

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cung này nhìn khó đi thiệt nhưng mà được cái view từ trên đỉnh nhìn xuống thì miễn chê luôn

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qua được đoạn Tiki trail là ngon rồi haha, công nhận có cái trail ngay trong town tiện ghê, khỏi đi đâu xa 😎

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ừa công nhận :)) mà đc cái ở Queenstown thì có cả tỉ cái track ngắn dài để đi í

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Wawwwwww! These photos really "shaked my head". I was just talking with my husband about NZ and how badly we dream to visit it (maybe move in someday) ! And now, THIS! well....yeah!

It's gorgeous! Amazing place, amazing country, amazing landscape(s).

greetings from Romania

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Then you should definitely visit it as soon as possible, wait no more 😂

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Yeah....maybe we would have by now, but with this pandemic shit...its best to wait. :D

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Xịn quá c ơi😄 Từ trên cao đó nhìn xuống chắc tuyệt lắm!!

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uh mấy tấm cuối là từ đỉnh nhìn xuống á, mà cái này mùa hè nên ko thấy tuyết nhiều. Cảm ơn em 😂

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đẹp quá bé ơi. chị cũng thích leo núi lắm luôn

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Leo cũng cực mà lên nhìn cảnh đẹp cũng mát lòng mát dạ 😂

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Nhớ lần đầu đi Hike ơ NZ là chuyến này với gái và ngân. Uả vậy có cần chị gửi hình nữa không? :)

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Chuyến có Ngân là Roys peak, còn cái này có Lộc haha, ko cần đâu chị, có đủ hình rồi.

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nhìn chỗ này giống ảnh của Roys peak nhỉ

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Vì gần nhau á chị, xa xa thấy mt Aspiring nữa.

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À thì ra là vậy, c tưởng một cái ở QT một cái ở Wanaka

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Ben Lomond là ngay Queenstown luôn chị.

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Uả vậy à, chị lại hay nhầm 2 chỗ này hehe

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Such a great post! I traveled to Queenstown too but just for one day:) The Wakatipu lake was my favorit:)

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yeah the lake must be the icon of this town.
I love hanging out with my friend there. 😎

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without a doubt a great experience, what a beautiful sight!

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Thank you! it's amazing indeed! 😆

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I did not know there were two Ben Lomonds! Such a magnificent climb

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Have you been here? Where is the other one? 🤔

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The other is in Scotland. I believe that this one is named after it

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it could be, I found a lot of places in New Zealand that have the same name as the UK, must be from the Commonwealth countries.

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Yeah I heard about that. My ex-boyfriend told me that there is another Ben Lomonds in England (not sure haha)

@sunnyvo 😆

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Wow, the views are just to die for! It is good to have a friend to push to go on! I mean it was worth it! How long did it take in total, to go up and down?

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yeah, it was totatally worth it , it took me about 8 hours return.

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a significant amount of time 😄 I would turn back about an hour in, well done!

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View from the top is just stunning!

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Yeah, the journey is also enjoyable, except for the steep parts LOL

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