Queenstown's Hidden Beauty

Discover some of Queenstown's local areas by car, bicycle or on foot. Just click on the photos below and you will be taken to an album showing you a general map of how to get there and images of the area. These areas are public areas and are free to visit. Due to our wonderful changing seasons, these places can look quite different depending on what time of the year you visit. The images are all available as digital copies for a small fee. Have fun discovering my home town!


This track is suitable for walking or cycling and can be achieved in small stages or you may wish to travel the entire length. You can start at the Queenstown end at Jubilee Park on Park Street and head towards Frankton or start at Frankton Beech and go either towards Queenstown or Kelvin Heights or, alternatively, you can enter the Kelvin Heights part of the track in several places for a shorter version (either start at either end from the Kawarau Bridge or the Kelvin Heights Golf course, or where the signs appear along Peninsula Road indicating the walkway entrances). I like to park down Willow Place and take a leisurely walk towards the golf course and return. 



This lake was named after Mr D Hayes, who in 1859, came to this area looking for suitable land to farm sheep.

It is a small lake, positioned between Queenstown and Arrowtown with the option of a walking, cycling track suitable for prams or wheelchairs (which circumnavigates the entire lake) or it is simply a nice place to visit or  picnic at the northern end.

The lake supports various wildfowl including the New Zealand Scaup (or Black Teal), Australasian Crested Grebe, Mallard duck, Black Swan and Black Shag.



Arrowtown is a 20 minute drive from Queenstown. It is an historic gold mining town datng back to the 1860's and houses  the region's museum which is well worth a  visit. The town offers visitors a quaint shopping area with plenty of cafes for meals and refreshments. Beautiful at any time of the year, Arrowtown is renowned for it's fine array of autumn colours. A pleasant loop track catering for walkers, cyclists, prams and wheelchairs, this takes you alongside and over the Arrow River through areas of deciduous woodland.           Also worth a visit is the Chinese Village Settlement area, a reconstruction from the gold mining era - this can be found down by the river's edge next to the township.




Initially,  Maori  passed through this area en route to collect greenstone from the Glenorchy end of Lake Wakatipu. In 1860, the first Europeans to settle and farm in the area were William Rees and Nicholas von Tunzelmann. However, the discovery of gold in 1862 was when Queenstown itself began to develop. Today it is an adventure and ski resort with a population just under 30,000. Although only a small town, it is packed with activities to experience and brings with it a vibrant community in a stunning landscape.  The Queenstown Gardens are well worth a stroll through.



Moke Lake is about a 20 minute drive from Queenstown. It has a camping area and an undulating walking/mountain bike track which takes you around the lake. The drive into Moke Lake leaves the sealed road about halfway and you continue the rest of the way on a gravel road which narrows in a couple of places to almost a single lane. The journey takes you past the very small Lake Kirkpatrick which is nestled amongst the hills. The road is not recommended for large motorhomes. However it is well worth the journey for all others and is a popular spot for both visitors and locals alike.

I would recommend you take some insect repellent with you for this journey.



This is a loop walk that follows a small creek known as "The Twelve Mile" up a hillside to a small stone gold miner's hut. A moderate degree of fitness is required and this journey will take from 2 hours onwards to complete depending on your speed and how often you stop to enjoy the view.  If you take the left hand branch of the track, you will travel through some wonderful New Zealand Beech forest.  You may be lucky to spot some native birds on the way such as the NZ Wood Pigeon, Rifleman, or the NZ Robin. Arriving near the top of the loop track, you will discover Sam Summer's Hut which is so named after it's gold mining owner. It is now part of the NZ Department of Conservation area and there is a toilet located near the hut. The downward journey takes the walker through an area of  Manuka scrub forest as well as open areas which allow views toward Lake Wakatipu and surrounding hillsides.




Native New Zealand Beech forest provides a wonderful backdrop to this hidden cove. Watch for the Bob's Cove sign after driving past Wilson's Bay and park in the small carpark there. A short walk through the forest will reveal this delightful cove.

Originally this area was a Maori campsite used while travelling to collect greenstone (paunamu)  at the northern end of the lake. In the 1870's, European settlers built  several lime kilns here; the remains of one can be seen from the walking track. The purpose of the kilns was to burn limstone for mortar and also for fertiliser.

A gentle walk or mountain bike will take you along the track as far as you wish (it does not loop back). If you take the track leading back towards Queenstown, it will take you to the Twelve Mile Delta Conservation campsite area which is about a 45 minute walk one way.  


Arriving at the bay you will discover a large, open, finely gravelled beech which you can drive right up to. This area is a mecca for mountain bikers, as a special area has been set aside for this activity encompassing trails through the bush catering for all grades of riders. In addition to this, there is a shared walk/cycle way alongside the lake which takes you to Seven Mile Point in approx 1.5 hours.                                                 There are also toilets situated here.



  The small township of Glenorchy is approx a 45 km drive from Queenstown which takes you on a windy path alongside Lake Wakatipu. The scenic drive allows plenty of stunning mountain and lake views with the popular viewing stop at Bennett's Bluff which is well sign posted. 

At Glenorchy, discover the Lagoon boardwalk next to the golf course.  If you drive beyond the town you will discover places such as Paradise and Diamond Lake, Routeburn track, Lake Sylvan,  Kinloch, and  if you carry on around the lake you will end up at the start of the Greenstone track which is a pleasant place to picnic if you're not wishing to tramp far.

Taking some insect repellent on this trip is a good idea.




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