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Hiking in the South Island

Guest Blogger: Lucy Xu (Reception Manager)

Nature and the mountains are calling out to you to explore! Our beautiful home of New Zealand offers an endless amount of jaw dropping scenery and there is just so much to explore. The diversity in the scenery here is certainly spectacular; there are glaciers, deep rainforest and lakes so beautiful you just have to go for swim. There is truly no better way to get up close and person with nature than spending a few hours or days just taking in all that New Zealand has to offer and exploring on foot. Speaking from the perspective of a local of 6 ish years, I’ve composed a list of a few of my absolute favourite places to explore and a few handy tips 😉

So without further ado, here comes a hike a day!

Queenstown:

Ben Lomond – The best day hike to do in the heart of Queenstown!  This beautiful day hike captures the best Queenstown has to offer – endless mountains and magnificent lake views. Also if you are after a completely free activity then this is the one, no transport or vehicle required! The hike will take about 6 hours return, maybe a bit longer if you factor in plenty of photo stops and a picnic at the top!
The hike follows an easy path uphill that starts from behind the gondola in the middle of town. Once you reach the saddle, the views just open up and you’ll see an endless amount of mountains in the distance. From the saddle it’s an hour long scramble up to the summit. The summit offers breath- taking 360 degree views of the beautiful Queenstown area, lake and mountains for days!
The track is very exposed, so bring sunscreen if you’re going on a sunny day, even in winter! The summit can also get very windy so even if you’re going on a super sunny day, bring some layers. Seeing the views at sunrise or sunset is just spectacular! The light is just the best plus you’ll avoid the crowds as the track can get very busy. If you are doing it at dawn or dusk… Bring a good torch; the track will be pitch black!