A Walk In The Park

Now before I get up to snowboarding (because frankly, why else would you be in Queenstown in winter!?) let me take a moment to mention that as well as the snow, and the mountain biking, Queenstown is full of other gems, like the fantastic walks and hikes in the area! I didn’t plan any long hikes while I was here, but I took 2 short walks which are well worth the time if you’ve ever got a day (or even a few hours) to spare.

Tiki Trail

The first walk is the Tiki Trail, which starts at the base of the Skyline Gondola. Coincidentally it also ends at the top of the Skyline Gondola. Although you may ask “Why walk when there is a perfectly good gondola?”, just as many people who won’t go skydiving ask “Why jump out of a perfectly good plane?”. My answer is of course something about journeys (thanks to Mrs Fletcher, my year 12 English teacher) and also that I’m always Down To Adventure, not Down To Sit-In-A-Glass-Box (which would make a much less interesting blog).

The walk up is definitely aerobic (at least at my speed it was) but a fantastic trail with beautiful views and a certain sense of achievement at reaching the summit lookout / restaurant / gift shop and smirking at all the boring people who just got off the gondola and bought the t-shirt.

On my walk up I noticed a number of well-constructed platforms, forming 6 zip lines. Intrigued, I asked a passing zip line employee what the deal was and he kindly gave me the sales pitch & a brochure. Had I known sooner, I would have loved to have taken the 6 zip lines back down the hill, but alas I would have needed to book and I had some mountain biking to do that afternoon. I’ll add it to my list of “next times”.

Queenstown Hill

The second walk of note is up Queenstown Hill. Although mostly in trees, when you do see the view it is spectacular and well worth the walk. It’s still steep, but much less than the Tiki Trail, and a much easier track as it is gravel and 1m wide most of the way. To make it more interesting, we walked this trail in the evening, watching the sunset over Queenstown and managing to photograph a beautiful night-time city of lights from the top.

I may or may not have hated my legs by the top (after snowboarding all day), but next-day-snowboarding-David was thankful for the stretch out which the walk gave. The view of Queenstown over the “Basket of Dreams” sculpture at the top is well worth the walk, day or night, just remember to bring a head torch for the way down!


  1. I would have got the gondola and bought the T shirt!


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