Do you enjoy hiking in New Zealand? If you find yourself in Queenstown, I recommend hiking Ben Lomond. Here’s why.
Ben Lomond is a well known, 1700+ meter mountain located around Queenstown. It is named after Ben Lomond in Scotland. If you plan on hiking this beast, prepare for some steep climbs and incomparable views. After this hike, you will feel accomplished and probably a little bit exhausted. The hike will take between 6 and 8 hours to complete, if you begin and end at the tiki trail, so save it for a day with good weather. The tiki trail is located at the bottom of the Queenstown gondola.
This track will have you wandering up through the forest and you’ll can see the zip lining, and mountain bikers. It will take between 1 and 1.5 hrs to get to the sign stating you have another 2 to 3 hours to reach the summit. Here, you can refill your water bottle before continuing.
The Ben Lomond saddle has nice views, but if you’re doing the hike, go big or go home and do the summit hike. You won’t regret it. This would be a good place to stop for a rest or a snack. There is a bench a bit further up that is ideal for pictures. Just enjoy the surroundings before continuing.
Bring good hiking boots and sunscreen as you will be exposed to the elements after the tiki trail. The climb from the saddle to the summit gets quite steep. As soon as you think you may be done, you’ll turn a corner and find you have a lot more to climb! Utilize your resting times and take pictures of the surrounding mountains. The views are unbelievable. Once you finally reach the summit, you can enjoy a picnic lunch and ample picture opportunities.
The way down requires careful footing, although there were a few people who ran past me and continued on for quite a while. I fell on my butt once sliding down a rocky area, so this is the best time for solid hiking boots. Take your time.
If you feel like not walking all the way back, you can detour to the gondola and pay a reasonable amount for it to take you to the bottom. Otherwise, walk back down the tiki track and relish in the experience you just completed, shaky legs and all!
Have you ever hiked Ben Lomond? What is your favorite hike in New Zealand?