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November 2015 Issue
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Views a Plenty

Looking across Lake Wakatipu to Cecil and Walter Peak with Queenstown below. Photo: Sarah K Smith
Ben Lomond Scenic Reserve
6-8hr. Ben Lomond peak 6-8 hours return, view point en-route to Ben Lomond peak 3-4 hours return.
Via the Tiki Trail at the bottom of the Skyline Gondola

Ben Lomond Scenic Reserve

Situated in the heart of Queenstown, Ben Lomond Scenic Reserve offers a vast array of walks and views to tantalise any hiker’s appetite. The pinnacle of the reserve is walking to the peak of Ben Lomond, 1748m, which offers 360-degree views over the surrounding mountains. However, en-route there are a number of stunning views that provide a feeling of isolation and requiring only half the time and effort.

A few minutes’ walk from downtown Queenstown, the Tiki Trail climbs towards the Skyline Gondola through wilding pine and beech forest. Past the gondola, luge and paragliding take-off, a 4WD track leads through more wilding pines, eventually giving way to scrubby alpine tops. Here the trail becomes less distinct. A bit of scrambling and careful route finding is required until rocky schist outcrops become visible. It is here that you should stop, turn around and admire the views – like the person in this photograph.

Continue upwards to reach the summit of Ben Lomond, or, if you are content with the views at this point, descend the route you walked up. Either way, you will have earned some of the best views that Lake Wakatipu has to offer.

– Sarah Smith