Lately I've been exploring the many trails above Queenstown in the Bob's Peak / Ben Lomond Forest area. This area is pretty much to the left as you look up at the Skyline gondola from Queenstown.
For a first time visitor or a long time local, this is a fantastic walk. The neat thing is it pretty much starts in the city centre. At the base of the gondola look for the signs to the Tiki Trail.
This trail zig-zags up the hill through pine trees and into the native bush. It's remarkable how away from it all you feel, yet you are only a few hundred metres above town.
At certain sections of the walk you will be able to view activities like Ziptrek, mountain biking & paragliding (though you'll most likely hear the screams of excitment first).
There are some great vantage points where you can take in the sights of Lake Wakatipu, the Remarkables and Queenstown. The later section of the trail joins the Skyline access road. You'll likely come across a few other walkers or runners here as it's a popular local fitness trail.
This section also gives you close up viewing of the skills some of the mountainbikers exhibit when tackling many of the tracks in the Queenstown Bike Park. The access road takes you right to the Skyline building where the views are great.
If you have a full day available and have started early I'd strongly suggest the walk up to Ben Lomond summit (a further 5hrs return). Queenstown is full of great walks, and none more close to town that the Tiki Trail to the top of Bob's Peak at the Skyline summit.
It's a great way to grab some exercise, gain a new perspective on town and work off the effects of fine food and wine that can be found all around town.
For more information on Queenstown walking and hiking, and for all that this fantastic four season lake and alpine resort has to offer, see www.queenstownnz.co.nz
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