Ben Lomond Track

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  • Reviews  84%
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approx 17 km return | 6 - 8 hours return

Queenstown’s premier viewpoint. And you can even get the gondola to do some of the work.

Photos

Maps

Contact

Timing

This is definitely a fine weather only track. You’re up in the mountains here and weather can change very quickly. An icy wind can come any time of year and the top ridge is very exposed.

Access

The start of the track is signposted from behind the luge at the top of the gondola.

Track

After exiting the pines, the track follows a gully of wilding pines heading towards the saddle (1h 30 minutes) between Ben Lomond and Bowen Peak.

From here the track steepens and becomes rocky and uneven as it ascends towards the lookout at the summit (1748m).

The summit area is quite small but has panoramic views over the whole Wakatipu area, Mount Aspiring / Tititea and the Remarkables.

Geology

Ben Lomond is a pyramid, standing sentinel on the Queenstown skyline.

Flora

The Douglas fir forests were originally planted in the early 1900s by well-meaning local pharmacist Louis Hotop as a beautification project. The American natives now spread like wildfire and measures are in place to limit their spread through local community groups, council and business.

European History

James Boyne wrote an account of climbing Ben Lomond in 1886. His experiences from the day included finding a brown paper bag with biscuits in it, left by some Good Samaritan at the saddle. Even at this date, their inscriptions on the summit rocks were already latecomers in the annals of those who recorded their passing.

The mountain was named after it’s namesake loch and peak in Scotland by early shepherd Duncan McAusland.

33 reviews with the most recent first, showing page 1 of 3.

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Dale Simpson's avatar

Dale Simpson

South Africa

Ranking: 9/10

Good day out, leave early, at least by 0700.

Reviewed about 1 year ago and experienced in March 2017

Rachael Sleege's avatar

Rachael Sleege

Germany

Ranking: 7/10

Very nice day walk. It says around 7 hours to return but it is possible to make it in 5 hours. Very cold on the top so good/warm equipment required. Maybe a little bit too crowded after lunch.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in January 2017

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Gielis and Anne's avatar

Gielis and Anne

Netherlands

Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful walk up to the Ben Lomond Summit. The walk is uphill all the time, but in a doable way. The last hour is steep but you will be rewarded with stunning views and Keas.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in February 2017

Josh Mills's avatar

Josh Mills

England

Ranking: 9/10

Tough days walking but amazing views at the top. Paths are well maintained. A good strenuous walk for modestly fit people.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in March 2017

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Oliver Francis's avatar

Oliver Francis

United Kingdom

Ranking: 7/10

Strenuous walk from the start. However, it is rewarded with great views.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in December 2016

Natasha's avatar

Natasha

United Kingdom

Ranking: 6/10

Hike was steep as entered from the ground. However, beautiful views. Also really busy but a really good length of hike.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in December 2016

Avoid Camping Fines!

The only camping map where each location is approved by every regional council in NZ. So if it shows on the map, you’re allowed to stay.

The Rankers Camping NZ app, is also in association with…

Dylan Dorman's avatar

Dylan Dorman

Ireland

Ranking: 8/10

I did this walk in the winter when the DOC said that crampons should be worn and I was wearing Converse so I found it very challenging. The view from the top is very rewarding. I think it would be quite achievable for most in Summer.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in October 2016

Clayton Helzer's avatar

Clayton Helzer

United States

Ranking: 8/10

One of the better day hikes out of Queenstown. Fair bit of deviation gain and the view is spectacular in every direction.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in October 2016

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Camping NZ App

Every camping site on your iPhone™, iPad™ or Android™ phone or tablet. Avoid camping penalties using this council approved app. Featuring offline maps.

Download from the App Store Download Android app on Google Play

Nanda Dyke's avatar

Nanda Dyke

Netherlands

Ranking: 9/10

A hard track but so worth it!

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in November 2016

Anke Vater's avatar

Anke Vater

Germany

Ranking: 8/10

In the beginning we had a bit of trouble to find the access point for this trail, but then it was a nice tour with nice views, though we did not have the best weather.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in March 2016

Award-1-24px Congratulations Ben Lomond Track

Top Ranked Awards 2015 Day Walk Winner

Joerg's avatar

Joerg

Germany

Ranking: 8/10

Very scenic, at least when the weather is good. Tough walk, badly signposted, but all trails lead to Ben Lomond at the end. Start at the end of Thompson Street or Wynyard Crescent. Took us 5 hours return (fast walking).

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in March 2016

Isabel's avatar

Isabel

Germany

Ranking: 7/10

Nice hike but a lot of people along the way - also some people without hiking experience so that stones were falling down on the way - luckily nobody was standing there.

Reviewed almost 2 years ago and experienced in April 2016

Holly Cooper's avatar

Holly Cooper

United Kingdom

Ranking: 8/10

Well marked track with excellent views of Queenstown lakes.

Reviewed about 2 years ago and experienced in March 2016

33 reviews with the most recent first, showing page 1 of 3.

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Dale Simpson's avatar

Dale Simpson

South Africa

Ranking: 9/10

Good day out, leave early, at least by 0700.

Reviewed about 1 year ago and experienced in March 2017

Rachael Sleege's avatar

Rachael Sleege

Germany

Ranking: 7/10

Very nice day walk. It says around 7 hours to return but it is possible to make it in 5 hours. Very cold on the top so good/warm equipment required. Maybe a little bit too crowded after lunch.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in January 2017

Conservation Campsite Pass

Save up to 70% on campsite fees! Support conservation and experience the natural beauty of NZ. 93 Department of Conservation campsites, one convenient pass.

Get the Pass

Gielis and Anne's avatar

Gielis and Anne

Netherlands

Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful walk up to the Ben Lomond Summit. The walk is uphill all the time, but in a doable way. The last hour is steep but you will be rewarded with stunning views and Keas.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in February 2017

Josh Mills's avatar

Josh Mills

England

Ranking: 9/10

Tough days walking but amazing views at the top. Paths are well maintained. A good strenuous walk for modestly fit people.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in March 2017

Top Ranked NZ Deals Pass

Access savings worth hundreds of $$ on Top Ranked NZ Accommodation and Activities for just $1 per day.

Get deals pass

Oliver Francis's avatar

Oliver Francis

United Kingdom

Ranking: 7/10

Strenuous walk from the start. However, it is rewarded with great views.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in December 2016

Natasha's avatar

Natasha

United Kingdom

Ranking: 6/10

Hike was steep as entered from the ground. However, beautiful views. Also really busy but a really good length of hike.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in December 2016

Avoid Camping Fines!

The only camping map where each location is approved by every regional council in NZ. So if it shows on the map, you’re allowed to stay.

The Rankers Camping NZ app, is also in association with…

Dylan Dorman's avatar

Dylan Dorman

Ireland

Ranking: 8/10

I did this walk in the winter when the DOC said that crampons should be worn and I was wearing Converse so I found it very challenging. The view from the top is very rewarding. I think it would be quite achievable for most in Summer.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in October 2016

Clayton Helzer's avatar

Clayton Helzer

United States

Ranking: 8/10

One of the better day hikes out of Queenstown. Fair bit of deviation gain and the view is spectacular in every direction.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in October 2016

Camping NZ App Icon

Camping NZ App

Every camping site on your iPhone™, iPad™ or Android™ phone or tablet. Avoid camping penalties using this council approved app. Featuring offline maps.

Download from the App Store Download Android app on Google Play

Nanda Dyke's avatar

Nanda Dyke

Netherlands

Ranking: 9/10

A hard track but so worth it!

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in November 2016

Anke Vater's avatar

Anke Vater

Germany

Ranking: 8/10

In the beginning we had a bit of trouble to find the access point for this trail, but then it was a nice tour with nice views, though we did not have the best weather.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in March 2016

Award-1-24px Congratulations Ben Lomond Track

Top Ranked Awards 2015 Day Walk Winner

Joerg's avatar

Joerg

Germany

Ranking: 8/10

Very scenic, at least when the weather is good. Tough walk, badly signposted, but all trails lead to Ben Lomond at the end. Start at the end of Thompson Street or Wynyard Crescent. Took us 5 hours return (fast walking).

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in March 2016

Isabel's avatar

Isabel

Germany

Ranking: 7/10

Nice hike but a lot of people along the way - also some people without hiking experience so that stones were falling down on the way - luckily nobody was standing there.

Reviewed almost 2 years ago and experienced in April 2016

Holly Cooper's avatar

Holly Cooper

United Kingdom

Ranking: 8/10

Well marked track with excellent views of Queenstown lakes.

Reviewed about 2 years ago and experienced in March 2016