Bob’s Cove Track and Nature Walk

Bob’s Cove Track and Nature Walk

Bob’s Cove Track and Nature Walk


6 Rankers Reviews

6 Face-to-Face

Your Nature Guide

Marios Gavalas's avatar

Marios Gavalas

Author And Researcher

Nau mai, haere mai

Nau mai, haere mai

I'm Marios, delivering the best of Aotearoa's nature walks to your device.

I've personally walked hundreds of New Zealand's tracks and spent months in libraries uncovering interesting information on New Zealand/Aotearoa. And you'll find a slice of that research on this page - enjoy!


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Old lime kilns


1 km return | 20 minutes return

Remains of some old lime kilns add to the turquoise waters of Lake Wakatipu.


Bob’s Cove is signposted on the left 13 km north of Queenstown on the road to Glenorchy. There is a large parking area with toilets.


Head left and descend through the mountain beech forest to the junction with the loop track.

Keeping left, skirt the edge of the bay with views over the turquoise waters, promontory and side face of Walter Peak.

The restored lime kiln is just before the jetty.

Return via the loop track.

Identification panels are provided for a selection of forest plants.


Some of the gum trees are descendants of original plantings used to fire the kilns.

European History

Bob’s Cove was formerly known as Fortune’s Cove and was named after Bob Fortune, an employee of William Rees. Fortune was responsible for maintaining Rees’s whaleboat, which plied Lake Wakatipu transporting men, machinery and merchandise. As the cove provided one of the few sheltered places in the northern arm of the gusty lake, Fortune’s frequency of sheltering here gave him the association.

Pastoralists were present from Wakatipu’s earliest days. As early as 1861, Mr Few and his mob of cattle grazed the area around 12 Mile Creek, which is noted as Few’s Creek on some early maps. George Beer and Thomas Kirkpatrick followed from 1874 - 81.

Early steamer services, notably run by H. Tomkin, stopped for picnics and photos at the cove.

The quarry for the lime extraction was first surveyed in 1874. In 1880, when the Wakatipu Lime Company was formed, two blocks were leased from landowner Ezra Eldred. A stone house was erected on the freehold plot. The company purchased a shed, jetty and plant. Most importantly, two kilns, each with 1000 bushel capacity were installed.

The kilns were built into or in front of steep banks, to aid top loading. Some rails probably led carts laded with rock directly to the kilns. An arched opening on the lower side allowed easy removal of the burnt lime.

The narrow limestone outcrop was trenched 30 metre long and 3 m wide up the hill.

Although the company ceased operating by 1900, over 7 kilns are now dotted around the cove. Mortar for many of Queenstown’s most notable building was supplied by the company, including the Library, Courthouse and County Building.


Feature Value Info


DOC Otago

Central government organisation


South IslandQueenstown RegionQueenstown Township


  • Walking
  • Free




United Kingdom

Ranking: 8/10

A good hike to see the clear waters of Bob's Cove. The extra hike to the picnic site at the top of the hill is a must.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in October 2016

Dylan Dorman's avatar

Dylan Dorman


Ranking: 9/10

The walk down to Bob's Cove is nothing special but if you go down on a quiet winters day (no such thing as quiet in Summer), you will feel as though all of Wakatipu is yours.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in October 2016

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Joanne Woo's avatar

Joanne Woo


Ranking: 8/10

Track starts at the Twelve Mile Delta campsite and was not too difficult. Took about three hours for a return trek.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in November 2016

Yee How's avatar

Yee How


Ranking: 8/10

Nice and easy walk, suitable for beginners but could have been better signposted as we were not too sure about where to go at certain points. Good view of the lake at Picnic Point.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in November 2016

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Till's avatar



Ranking: 8/10

Amazing bush walk.

Reviewed almost 6 years ago and experienced in January 2016

Prisuille's avatar



Ranking: 9/10

Very quiet place.

Reviewed almost 6 years ago and experienced in February 2016

DOC Managed

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 😍

Cymen Crick's avatar

Cymen Crick