This is the full Ben Lomond hike from Queenstown. You can take the gentler option and grab a scenic ride up the Skyline Gondola, saving yourself a 450 metre (1476 feet) climb up a series of switchbacks in the mostly pine forest like on our 'Manuka' trip, or you can hike from Queenstown like on our 'Tui' trip the way the locals usually do it. Ben Lomond Track: loved this hike - See 685 traveller reviews, 489 candid photos, and great deals for Queenstown, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. Your email address will not be published. As part of this we joined the initiative to combat the spread of the invasive wildings (yes, just like the wildings in Game of Thrones … except they’re trees, not people) and have a family plot above the gondola. On our way back down we met an American soldier (on vacation! The trail is actually longer if you start in town. Take the opportunity here to use the bench seat as a resting point and give yourself time to fuel up with snacks. Ben Lomond Track: Hard hike ! If you want to take the gondola, then buy your ticket here for a cheaper rate: Skyline Gondola Everything you just hiked up – well you will need to hike it back down. Ben Lomond Track, Queenstown: Address, Phone Number, Ben Lomond Track Reviews: 5/5. Take some time to take it all in because it is one special feeling to be on top of Queenstown and see these views for yourself. Alternatively to starting at the base of the Queenstown Gondola, you can also start at Lomond Crescent road. Climbing Ben Lomond in Queenstown Approaching Ben Lomond. I hope this guide can get you going in the right direction and on top of that peak in no time. • The Skyline Queenstown Gondola opens at 9AM. This is going to be helpful when it’s dark (especially if you haven’t walked any of the Tiki Trail). - See 686 traveler reviews, 489 candid photos, and great deals for Queenstown, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. On Lomond Crescent you’ll find the start of the Skyline Access Road. The summit is special (especially in winter / early spring) but if you only go as far as the saddle you’ll still see some incredible vistas. Ben Lomond Track: Hike - See 685 traveller reviews, 493 candid photos, and great deals for Queenstown, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. So be prepared for a big day out, and if you have any doubts about your ability to complete the hike it could be worth taking the Skyline Gondola to cut a significant portion of climbing (and descending) out of your journey. How long does the Ben Lomond Track take to hike? It is a great way to have a very diverse type of hike as this part of the trail will be in the forest and the actual Ben Lomond track will be above the tree line with vast views. The most popular start to the Ben Lomond Hike is to hike the Tiki Trail to Bob’s Peak. This route will lead you through old Douglas Fir’s and into some of Queenstown’s most beautiful native Beech forest. While it looks like the peak is just right in front of you, it is actually another hour to get up there. Ben Lomond is known as one of the most beautiful tramps in New Zealand. Well sign up and join the TripTins community to receive monthly newsletters that will recap everything you need to know to make that trip as memorable as can be. Since access to the Ben Lomond track from the One Mile Creek track has been closed, you have two options to reach the Ben Lomond summit: Option 1: Tiki Trail to the Skyline Gondola to the Ben Lomond Track This option is the best if you want a full-day hike straight from town. However you get to this point, you’re above Bob’s Peak and you’re a third of the way there. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is best used from November until April. After approximately 1-hour of hiking above Bob’s Peak you’ll reach the Ben Lomond saddle, where you’ll find a bench seat at an intersection with the Moonlight Track. Have fun out there and safe travels! The reward for 6-8 hours of walking (return) is a spectacular panoramic view of the Remarkables mountain range, Lake Wakatipu and the bustling town below. The stunning panoramic views along the entire length of the track delight and entertain hikers the whole way. Ben Lomond Track: Big Hike and Big Payoff - See 685 traveller reviews, 489 candid photos, and great deals for Queenstown, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. It should also take about 45 minutes to get to the meet up with the Ben Lomond track so if you are trying to start your hike from Queenstown, either one of these options should work well for you. View 4 - Looking up to Ben Lomond If you begin your hike in the Queenstown CBD, you’ll gain a total of 1,438-metres of elevation in just 5.5-kilometres (11-kilometres return). Be careful not to venture onto the mountain bike trail which runs alongside this section of track – it’s signposted and the trail name is ‘Beached As’. If you are tired you can use the gondola to go down. TIP: I usually use Meteoblue for my mountain weather and you are able to see cloud coverage / number of hours of sun on a day by day basis. Depending on daylight hours, time of year, and hiking level, you may want to start the hike earlier on in the day. It’s the best day hike in Queenstown (and one of the best in New Zealand) and I highly recommend doing at least some of it. The hike to the summit does not require any specialised mountaineering equipment or experience, but it’s recommended to keep your focus and body weight pointing toward the uphill side of the trail to avoid an uncomfortable fall. Hike the Skyline Access Road. From the bottom terminal of Skyline Queenstown, taking a scenic Gondola ride to the top of Bob’s Peak … The Summit to Saddle downhill will be the toughest part of the descent. The Ben Lomond Saddle walk is a 3 - 4 hour walk that can be accessed from the top of the gondola station. 2. This can be great as you know how close you are getting, or it can be very frustrating as you know how far away you are from the top. But seriously, if your planning on doing the entire Ben Lomond, it’s quite the treat to be able to shave off an hour off your hike! Take the Gondola to Skyline, follow the signs to the saddle and the steep ascent on your left to the summit (1747m). This view comes just after passing the Skyline complex at the top of the gondola. Soon enough though you will begin to reach the top of the Ben Lomond Track at 1,748 meters. See things to do in Queenstown at night here. Below are some options at different price points to take a look at that are mostly within walking distance of town center: 3. There’s only one way up to the summit from the Saddle, you’ll follow a narrow and exposed trail that will probably require some help from your hands for balance. Ben Lomond Track (Hard Hike Option) The entire hike to the Ben Lomond Summit is 6-8 hours (return) over a distance of 9.5km (5.9miles). It is a popular and easy to follow track. We did not do this but I think prices for the gondola start at around $40 NZD. The Ben Lomond track is well signed from the Skyline Gondola. Located at 1,748m over Queenstown and the Lake Wakatipu, the Ben Lomond summit is a bucket-list day hike for both hikers and adventure-seekers alike. If you want to decide before this then you would need to opt for the hike up from Queenstown. While it is an accomplishment within itself to complete the trek to the top of Ben Lomond Peak, it will not be the same experience if the views are not out there to see. Ben Lomond track is a challenging track with a 1438m elevation gain of the walk. When we reached the Skyline Gondola area it was nice to use maps.me to make sure we weren’t making a wrong turn off going through there. Length 7.1 miElevation gain 3343 ftRoute type Out & back The first part of the hike that leaves from the top of the gondola lulls you into a false sense of security. You will need to watch your step and take it slow. When I think of hiking in New Zealand, one of the first ones to come to mind will always be the Ben Lomond Track in Queenstown. View 1 - Beginning the walk. If you’re keen to save about an hours worth of hiking through the forest, you can take the Skyline Gondola up through the Ben Lomond … This view comes just after passing the Skyline complex at the top of the gondola. As the path meanders its way up and around to the saddle of the Ben Lomond track you start to believe that surely the dauntingly advertised 6 hours surely cannot … Ben Lomond Track: Breathtaking day hike - See 680 traveler reviews, 482 candid photos, and great deals for Queenstown, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. My favourite part of this hike, was the gondola. Mentioned earlier you can either start the trail in Queenstown (either the base of the Queenstown Gondola or on Lomond Crescent road), or you can make your way to the top of the Queenstown Gondola and begin the trail up Ben Lomond from there. It’s practically in the city, but still sufficiently challenging and offers a great scenic view of the area from Lake Wakatipu, Arthur’s Point and Queenstown.It doesn’t take much effort to get on this hike – the trailhead starts just 10 minutes walk from Queenstown city center. Just head down the track, take in the views and enjoy the last of what the Ben Lomond track has to offer. If you decide for this option you will essentially be overpaying for a one way gondola ride as you would need to buy a round trip). For the first segment, the track begins at the Douglas fir stands via the Skyline Access Road and takes you through the alpine tussocks and shrubs. This hike is more difficult and you really have to plan it well so you can finish it in daylight. The hike up Ben Lomond mountain is one of Queenstown’s best day hikes. Yes, we took the gondola up and down, lazy bums! During the hike you will cross private lands, so be mindful to leave no rubbish behind and stick to the formed track to avoid stock disturbance and farm hazards. Luge, Kiwi Birdlife Park, Time Tripper, Jet Boats and Go-Karts. It will take you about 2 hours to hike to the saddle and then another 1 or 2 (of steeper and rougher track) to the summit. The first part to the top of the gondola is pretty steep, then to the Ben Lomond saddle the slope is going up gently and the last part to the summit is very steep, if you scared of height don’t do the last part. The Ben Lomond Saddle walk is a 3 - 4 hour walk that can be accessed from the top of the gondola station. Once you get through 2-3 hours of climbing, you should reach the Ben Lomond Saddle. Reaching the Saddle takes about 2 hours one-way. ). After making your way up, either through the Douglas fir forest or by gondola, you will start your ascent to the Ben Lomond Saddle. Cecil and Walter Peaks If you download Maps.me (offline maps), you’ll be able to make sure you’re on track. There is some free parking available at the start of the Access Road, but if you can’t find a spot there, you can park at one of the many all-day parks available in town and take the short walk to the access road via Thompson Street and Glasgow Street. The Ben Lomond Track starts at the top of Skyline Gondola. Nowadays, Ben Lomond is one of the places where my family goes to remember my grandparents. View 4 - Looking up to Ben Lomond But for the lazy or time poor tourist you can get a 450 metre leg up by taking the Gondola … Climbing Ben Lomond in Queenstown Approaching Ben Lomond. The first half of the Ben Lomond hike was slightly more time consuming than the way downhill. Adventuring up to Ben Lomond's summit is an out-and-back day hike with views that are arguably more rewarding than some of those you get on New Zealand's Great Walks. Keep an eye out along the way – the hidden artefacts in the forest will leave you feeling like you were in the company of giants. Ben Lomond Track: Challenging walk from gondola - See 686 traveller reviews, 489 candid photos, and great deals for Queenstown, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. The track begins among Douglas fir on Skyline Access Road or the Tiki Trail. Ben Lomond Saddle Walk. Ben Lomond Track via Skyline Queenstown is a 7.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Queenstown, Otago, New Zealand that offers scenic views and is rated as difficult. Sure there are countless others around the country – everything from Roys Peak in Wanaka to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing on the North Island. Ben Lomond Track: Ben Lomond Track - See 686 traveller reviews, 489 candid photos, and great deals for Queenstown, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. It is a popular and easy to follow track. The Tiki Trail is a 45-minute uphill zig zagging path that takes you up the mountain and meets up with the Ben Lomond track – basically an alternate to taking the gondola up. If there are many clouds on the day you are hiking, these views may be obstructed and could have a negative impact on the trail. Hilton Queenstown Resort (a bit further out of town). From thrill-seeking, to relaxation and mind games - there's an activity to suit everyone - at any time of the year. While it does not have the “views” per se, it is a nice trail that takes you through the forest greenery of Queenstown. Shortly after you begin the Ben Lomond track, you will exit the forest and be welcomed to vast views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu down below. As you start the Ben Lomond Track from the gondola, the first part is through the woods and still shaded. View 1 - Beginning the walk. The path is on a constant incline for the most part and will be made up of a dirt track with some steps sprinkled in throughout. Ben Lomond Track: Challenging walk from gondola - See 686 traveller reviews, 489 candid photos, and great deals for Queenstown, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "manual"; If you are wondering what to bring along when taking part of hikes in general take a look at the comprehensive Hiking Packing List that I put together. Once off the gondola you will just begin to follow the path pointing you to Ben Lomond. Visited in mid April, when the colours were starting to turn and all of the grass was yellow - quite a pretty sight. When in Queenstown, the Ben Lomond hike is a “must do”. There are 3 potential starting points to the Ben Lomond Track: From the bottom terminal of Skyline Queenstown, taking a scenic Gondola ride to the top of Bob’s Peak will save you (and your knees) up to one hour of hiking. If there is low cloud coverage, that can get in the way of the views both during the hike and on top of the mountain. On the other hand, if you take the round trip gondola it will cost you $44 NZD and a one way gondola down will cost $29 NZD (one way gondolas are only sold as a one way down option). The views are pretty great and the path is well-kept. From the gondola complex look for the well-signed route that veers into the woods from the luge track. Ben Lomond from Gondola area The peak rises to 1,748 m (5,735 ft) and is reached by the purist up a steep zig zag track. Although Ben Lomond can be done from Queenstown proper, a start from the top of the Skyline Gondola will save an hour of work (not to mention around 400 metres of vertical climb). ). If you’re keen to save about an hours worth of hiking through the forest, you can take the Skyline Gondola up through the Ben Lomond Forest for about $15. Make sure you aren’t put off by the steep start to the hike, hang in there, it gets easier. Difficulty: Advanced Best time of year to go: October till April / May. Ben Lomond is known as one of the most beautiful tramps in New Zealand. Overview Ben Lomond is a prominent peak just outside of Queenstown. Hike the Tiki Trail. Getting to the Ben Lomond Saddle takes much less time than the summit; in fact, if you take the gondola up and down it’s only a 3-hour return hike to the saddle. Ben Lomond Track (Hard Hike Option) The entire hike to the Ben Lomond Summit is 6-8 hours (return) over a distance of 9.5km (5.9miles). When in Queenstown, the Ben Lomond hike is a “must do”. Ben Lomond Track – Gondola to Saddle The path from the top of the gondola to saddle is one of my favorites in all of New Zealand. Once you have soaked in the views, retrace your steps on the way back. amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart"; Skyline Gondola. So once again, while you’re at the saddle you should assess your energy levels. But despite its easy access and location to central Queenstown, the climb up has many challenges. Once back in town, it is time to relax those legs and start the rest and recovery process. A challenging, but incredibly rewarding hike up the Ben Lomond summit. The map includes the 3 different start locations, and we've separated the Ben Lomond Saddle from the Summit section. Since it is not that big, location wont be too big of a deal (however you can find some places a bit further out of the way). It is NOT for everyone and you need to be in good physical condition to complete the track. Ben Lomond Summit (6-8 hour return hike) One of the highest peaks in the Wakatipu basin providing the most stunning views of the region. You can head over the Ben Lomond weather page for the latest – there are many Ben Lomond’s on the website so follow the link for the correct one. Otherwise, you’ll be walking up the Tiki Trail, which starts next to the gondola. Super accessible from the centre of town, this challenging climb has a 1,438m elevation gain that will keep you on your toes. You can take the Skyline gondola part way up if you want to shorten the climb, but I usually start at the small signposted carpark on Lomond Crescent and take the 4-WD track up the first stretch. Ben Lomond Track: Awesome hike! We hiked from the lake up Ben Lomond starting at the trail at the bottom where the gondola starts. Although not a technically difficult climb the mountain looks quite rugged as many other peaks in the Southern Alps.This mountain can be climbed beginning from the town of Queenstown or if you'd like a shorter and easier day you can ride the Skyline Gondola up and down to shorten your day. Now do not get me wrong – the Ben Lomond hike is NO JOKE, but believe me, the climb is WELL WORTH the effort. Path of Ben Lomond Track. The path from the top of the gondola to saddle is one of my favorites in all of New Zealand. Feel free to write in below with any questions or comments and check out some other New Zealand itineraries and guides up on the site. Hike to the Ben Lomond SADDLE As you start the Ben Lomond Track from the gondola, the first part is through the woods and still shaded. Note that if you’re planning on hiking from town and not using the Skyline Gondola you’ll need 6-8 hours in total. So there are actually two ways to arrive at the top of Ben Lomond and if you are lacking time and your fitness is not quite what you want it to be your best option might be to take the gondola. But when I think of a quintessential New Zealand hike it is Ben Lomond for me. This part of the trail is seriously no joke – the incline is as tough and technical as it gets and you will be using each and every muscle that you have. Oaks Shores (a bit further out of town), 2. Ben Lomond Summit (6-8 hour return hike) One of the highest peaks in the Wakatipu basin providing the most stunning views of the region. • Another thing to point out here is that on top of the gondola you will find a restaurant/café if you need to take a break and there is also the famous Queenstown luge – a fun option to maybe add to the end of your day. Hiking Ben Lomond: the gondola route (2-3 hours return) There are two main ways to tackle this peak. Description. For the first segment, the track begins at the Douglas fir stands via the Skyline Access Road and takes you through the alpine tussocks and shrubs. Then once you walk out of the woods you get out in the open and this is where the track starts to go up through grassland. The trail from there eventually meets up with the Ben Lomond track as you get a bit higher up the mountain. The time will fly by while you’re resting, the Ben Lomond Saddle is the first time on the hike you’ll get to see the awe-inspiring peaks of Mt Aspiring National Park. Getting to the Ben Lomond Saddle takes much less time than the summit; in fact, if you take the gondola up and down it’s only a 3-hour return hike to the saddle. Since access to the Ben Lomond track from the One Mile Creek track has been closed, you have two options to reach the Ben Lomond summit: Option 1: Tiki Trail to the Skyline Gondola to the Ben Lomond Track This option is the best if you want a full-day hike straight from town. For more information and up-to-date alerts about the Ben Lomond Track, access the official Department of Conservation website. Even in the height of summer the elevation and exposure to cold winds can lower the temperature drastically, so be prepared to throw on a warm layer and a windproof jacket. amzn_assoc_linkid = "c5ca1a34ebb2d0024e0cd3f07dcd3cb3"; Beyond the saddle is Ben Lomond Station where the track becomes a marked route. BEN LOMOND TRACK MAP. So there are actually two ways to arrive at the top of Ben Lomond and if you are lacking time and your fitness is not quite what you want it to be your best option might be to take the gondola. I was skeptical of just how epic the Ben Lomond Track would be after taking in the view from the Skyline (the gondola-accessible viewing platform just above town). Ben Lomond. Ben Lomond mountain is a very popular hike in Queenstown, due to its accessibility and beautiful views. It is a great lakeside town with plenty of accommodation options to choose from. Ben Lomond Track: Hike - See 685 traveller reviews, 493 candid photos, and great deals for Queenstown, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. Getting to the Ben Lomond Track Again, saving an hour of uphill hiking by taking the gondola up is a good idea if you can spare the cash. From the Skyline complex, follow a well-signalled track through the woods until it emerges into an opening that will give you the first views of Ben Lomond towering above. You may also find a Kea or two - a native New Zealand alpine parrot that really enjoys greeting the hikers, sometimes by stealing their food, so keep an eye on your belongings. If you feel like the hike to the saddle had taken the most energy from you, maybe it’s better to head back from there (a lot of people do it, so don’t get disappointed). From the top of the gondola, it takes 4 to 5 hours and from Queenstown, it takes 6 to 7 hours to complete the trail. Gondola Open Hours: Tap here for Skyline Queenstown Gondola open hoursGondola Prices: Tap here for Skyline Queenstown Gondola prices. Super accessible from the centre of town, this challenging climb has a 1,438m elevation gain that will keep you on your toes. So read on to discover 3 options for starting points on the hike, a map, what to pack and how to prepare. This can be a full day walk so take extra clothing, drinks and food. Your other option here is just to simply take the Queenstown Gondola up to the starting point of the trail. At the bottom of the Skyline Queenstown Gondola, you will see signs pointing to the Tiki Trail. Distance: 11 km return Duration: 3-4 hr to Ben Lomond Saddle, 6-8 hr to Ben Lomond Summit. It's a steep trek, so take suitable walking shoes. A challenging hike to beautiful vistas above Queenstown and the Lake Wakatipu basin, Ben Lomond is a hike you don't want to miss when you come to New Zealand. View 3 - Panoramic views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables. View 3 - Panoramic views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables. amzn_assoc_tracking_id = "triptins05-20"; It will take you about 2 hours to hike to the saddle and then another 1 or 2 (of steeper and rougher track) to the summit. Ben Lomond Track: Awesome Day Hike - Amazing Views - See 685 traveler reviews, 489 candid photos, and great deals for Queenstown, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. The Skyline Gondola is located at the end of Brecon Street and you can easily walk from town. - See 686 traveller reviews, 489 candid photos, and great deals for Queenstown, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. Ben Lomond Track, Queenstown: Address, Phone Number, Ben Lomond Track Reviews: 5/5. Ben Lomond Track, Queenstown: Address, Phone Number, Ben Lomond Track Reviews: 5/5. • If you decide to take the Tiki Trail or trail from Lomond Crescent up and down, you will not need to pay anything to take part of Ben Lomond. The hike up Ben Lomond mountain is one of Queenstown’s best day hikes. It's a steep trek, so take suitable walking shoes. It has the views, it has the incline, and it has the peak. 1. Ben Lomond Track is a 8.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Queenstown, Otago, New Zealand that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. Take the Gondola to Skyline, follow the signs to the saddle and the steep ascent on your left to the summit (1747m). The Ben Lomond Saddle is also a critical point on the hike to reassess the weather conditions, which could have easily changed in the time its taken to journey here. Reward yourself with stunning 360° views over Queenstown and the surrounding region on this challenging hike to the peak of Ben Lomond, which starts from the Gondola base station in the heart of downtown. Below is a map that shows the three starting points followed by a quick description of them. 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