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. Skyline Gondola. On our way back down we met an American soldier (on vacation! amzn_assoc_linkid = "c5ca1a34ebb2d0024e0cd3f07dcd3cb3"; Type: Moderate Hike. Book your tickets online for Ben Lomond Track, Queenstown: See 686 reviews, articles, and 489 photos of Ben Lomond Track, ranked No.3 on Tripadvisor among 80 attractions in Queenstown. Do you want to stay up to date and receive the latest travel iTINeraries, guides and tips to better plan your next trip around the world? The track makes its way above the Skyline, going much higher up but overlooking Lake Wakatipu from a similar angle. While it looks like the peak is just right in front of you, it is actually another hour to get up there. Ben Lomond Track: Ben Lomond Track - See 686 traveller reviews, 489 candid photos, and great deals for Queenstown, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. Your other option here is just to simply take the Queenstown Gondola up to the starting point of the trail. 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. 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. 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. From thrill-seeking, to relaxation and mind games - there's an activity to suit everyone - at any time of the year. Ben Lomond is the main peak that overlooks Queenstown but its heights are not visible from the town itself until you scale its steep lower slopes. Beyond the saddle, the track steepens and becomes very challenging. 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. 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 is a challenging track with a 1438m elevation gain of the walk. Hilton Queenstown Resort (a bit further out of town). It has the views, it has the incline, and it has the peak. The whole hike from the top of the Skyline Gondola to the Ben Lomond Summit and back should take at least 5-6 hours with stops. View 2 - A steep climb to the saddle. From the bottom terminal of Skyline Queenstown, taking a scenic Gondola ride to the top of Bob’s Peak … 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. When in Queenstown, the Ben Lomond hike is a “must do”. I wanted to highlight some important facts to know before heading off for this hike. Some of the guides currently up on the site include: And Dont Forget to Check Out the 10 Day New Zealand North Island Itinerary, Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *, Join our mailing list to receive the latest iTINeraries, guides & helpful tips to plan your next trip, TripTins is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. 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. amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart"; The most popular start to the Ben Lomond Hike is to hike the Tiki Trail to Bob’s Peak. 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. 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. 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. Distance: 11 km return Duration: 3-4 hr to Ben Lomond Saddle, 6-8 hr to Ben Lomond Summit. This can be a full day walk so take extra clothing, drinks and food. View 4 - Looking up to Ben Lomond amzn_assoc_search_bar = "false"; Ben Lomond is known as one of the most beautiful tramps in New Zealand. 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). Hike the Skyline Access Road. See things to do in Queenstown at night here. 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. Ben Lomond Track: We did this after the gondola - See 686 traveler reviews, 489 candid photos, and great deals for Queenstown, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. Cecil and Walter Peaks It is a great lakeside town with plenty of accommodation options to choose from. We hiked from the lake up Ben Lomond starting at the trail at the bottom where the gondola starts. This is the full Ben Lomond hike from Queenstown. Ben Lomond Track: Breathtaking day hike - See 680 traveler reviews, 482 candid photos, and great deals for Queenstown, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. Soon enough though you will begin to reach the top of the Ben Lomond Track at 1,748 meters. It is a popular and easy to follow track. amzn_assoc_title = ""; If you are looking for an amazing winter holiday filled with activities for the whole family, look no more: you’ll find a real winter wonderland in Queenstown. Another great thing about the Ben Lomond trail is you don’t have to hike the entire way to the summit to get amazing views and instead you can choose to only hike to the saddle. The hike up Ben Lomond mountain is one of Queenstown’s best day hikes. To your left will be those Lake Wakatipu views and to your right will be these incredible ever expanding mountain views (hopefully they can distract you a bit from what you are putting your body through). © 2017 - 2021 Skyline Enterprises Limited. 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. Super accessible from the centre of town, this challenging climb has a 1,438m elevation gain that will keep you on your toes. 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. 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. Ben Lomond Hike Start Whether you ride the Skyline Gondola or climb up the Tiki Trail, you’ll want to follow the signs through the luge track to the official start. 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. 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. Enjoy hot pools, twilight wine tours, historic cruises on the Earnslaw & the famous Night Luge! amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "manual"; Make sure you aren’t put off by the steep start to the hike, hang in there, it gets easier. This is going to be helpful when it’s dark (especially if you haven’t walked any of the Tiki Trail). The map includes the 3 different start locations, and we've separated the Ben Lomond Saddle from the Summit section. The trail from there eventually meets up with the Ben Lomond track as you get a bit higher up the mountain. 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. The hike up Ben Lomond mountain is one of Queenstown’s best day hikes. We've hand picked 5 fun things to do in Queenstown with kids, that parents will love too. Zoom in to see the various hiking options for the Ben Lomond Day Hike. Have fun out there and safe travels! Nowadays, Ben Lomond is one of the places where my family goes to remember my grandparents. 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. 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. 2. Starting & Ending Point: EITHER 1) From Queenstown OR 2) Top of Queenstown Gondola (more on those options soon), Length: 11 KM / 6.8 Miles from Top of Gondola  • 14 KM / 8.7 Miles from Queenstown, Elevation Gain: 1,000 Meters / 3,280 Feet from Top of Gondola • 1,438 Meters / 4,718 Feet from Queenstown, Summit Elevation: 1,748 Meters / 5,735 Feet (Saddle Elevation: 1,326 Meters / 4,350 Feet), Time: 4-6 Hours from Top of Gondola / 6-8 Hours from Queenstown (round trip), Track: Dirt / Technical Rock for final summit push, Difficulty: Hard (the official NZ DOC website lists it as easy – not sure how they came up with that one!!). Ben Lomond is known as one of the most beautiful tramps in New Zealand. Ben Lomond Track: loved this hike - See 685 traveller reviews, 489 candid photos, and great deals for Queenstown, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. And soon enough the nice dirt path will end and you will start climbing your way up the technical rocks. Hiking Ben Lomond taking the gondola. 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. Hike the Tiki Trail. Hiking Ben Lomond taking the gondola. But despite its easy access and location to central Queenstown, the climb up has many challenges. Tongariro Alpine Crossing on the North Island, 10 Day New Zealand North Island Itinerary, A Helpful Okere Falls Walk Guide | The 7 Meter Plunge, Kuirau Park in Rotorua | Mud Pools, Lakes, & Geothermal Activity. See from the video but it was a good hike...you can skip the first part by taking the gondola … Hiking Ben Lomond: the gondola route (2-3 hours return) There are two main ways to tackle this peak. If you want to decide before this then you would need to opt for the hike up from Queenstown. Path of Ben Lomond Track. On Lomond Crescent you’ll find the start of the Skyline Access Road. The trail is actually longer if you start in town. We did not do this but I think prices for the gondola … ). 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. Beyond the saddle is Ben Lomond Station where the track becomes a marked route. amzn_assoc_region = "US"; • 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. While it does not have the “views” per se, it is a nice trail that takes you through the forest greenery of Queenstown. 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. 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. As you start the Ben Lomond Track from the gondola, the first part is through the woods and still shaded. Ben Lomond Track: Hard hike ! Ben Lomond Track: Good hike - See 686 traveller reviews, 489 candid photos, and great deals for Queenstown, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. A challenging, but incredibly rewarding hike up the Ben Lomond summit. As you make your way up be sure to turn around a few times to take in those lake views too! 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. 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. 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. This view comes just after passing the Skyline complex at the top of the gondola. Ben Lomond Track, Queenstown: Address, Phone Number, Ben Lomond Track Reviews: 5/5. 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: Awesome Day Hike - Amazing Views - See 685 traveler reviews, 489 candid photos, and great deals for Queenstown, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. 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. The stunning panoramic views along the entire length of the track delight and entertain hikers the whole way. In winter you are required to carry and be able to use alpine equipment such as ice axe and crampons, as the track may change between snow and ice to very slippery and muddy. • 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. Take the Gondola to Skyline, follow the signs to the saddle and the steep ascent on your left to the summit (1747m). 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. 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. The Skyline Gondola is located at the end of Brecon Street and you can easily walk from town. 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. It may take just about the same time on the way down that it did on the way up just because of how technical it is. It is NOT for everyone and you need to be in good physical condition to complete the track. Follow the signs to the Ben Lomond Saddle, and eventually you’ll meet another trail which comes from the Skyline Gondola. Beached As is narrow and flows well for the adrenaline seeking mountain biker but sticking to the Ben Lomond walking track is a much nicer experience for hikers. 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). 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. Depending on daylight hours, time of year, and hiking level, you may want to start the hike earlier on in the day. This way you can avoid hiking up during the hottest point of the day, and you can get back down in Queenstown before the sun starts going down. 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. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is best used from November until April. Note that if you’re planning on hiking from town and not using the Skyline Gondola you’ll need 6-8 hours in total. 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. Take the Gondola to Skyline, follow the signs to the saddle and the steep ascent on your left to the summit (1747m). BEN LOMOND TRACK MAP. For more information and up-to-date alerts about the Ben Lomond Track, access the official Department of Conservation website. Some highlights from this video include: 00:01 The gondola to Bob's Peak below Ben Lomond amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit0"; Experience magnificent lake and mountain views as you climb up the saddle. The Skyline Access Road will lead you halfway up Bob’s Peak, where you’ll find the signposted start to the single track at a large open area knows as the ‘Midway Clearing’. 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. I hope this guide can get you going in the right direction and on top of that peak in no time. However you get to this point, you’re above Bob’s Peak and you’re a third of the way there. Difficulty: Advanced Best time of year to go: October till April / May. Tips for Ben Lomond 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). So once again, while you’re at the saddle you should assess your energy levels. 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. 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. The first part of the hike that leaves from the top of the gondola lulls you into a false sense of security. 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. Nowadays, Ben Lomond is one of the places where my family goes to remember my grandparents. View 1 - Beginning the walk. Climbing Ben Lomond in Queenstown Approaching Ben Lomond. amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon"; Get ready for what I think is one of the toughest parts of any New Zealand hike – the summit push from the Saddle to the Peak. 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