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. amzn_assoc_title = ""; We did not do this but I think prices for the gondola … So be prepared for a big day out, and if you have any doubts about your ability to complete the hike it could be worth taking the Skyline Gondola to cut a significant portion of climbing (and descending) out of your journey. See things to do in Queenstown at night here. 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. Be careful not to venture onto the mountain bike trail which runs alongside this section of track – it’s signposted and the trail name is ‘Beached As’. If you feel like the hike to the saddle had taken the most energy from you, maybe it’s better to head back from there (a lot of people do it, so don’t get disappointed). Length 7.1 miElevation gain 3343 ftRoute type Out & back As you start the Ben Lomond Track from the gondola, the first part is through the woods and still shaded. So, you do actually have a few options here: 1) Tiki Trail / Lomond Crescent Up • Tiki Trail / Lomond Crescent Down ($0 NZD), 2) Tiki Trail / Lomond Crescent Up • Gondola Down ($29 NZD), 3) Gondola Up • Tiki Trail / Lomond Crescent Down ( $44 NZD – they do not sell one way up gondola tickets – only one way down. 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. It's a steep trek, so take suitable walking shoes. View 4 - Looking up to Ben Lomond 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. amzn_assoc_tracking_id = "triptins05-20"; If you decide for this option you will essentially be overpaying for a one way gondola ride as you would need to buy a round trip). Ben Lomond Track: Hike - See 685 traveller reviews, 493 candid photos, and great deals for Queenstown, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. 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. 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. This 10 minute journey will take you above the forest, as you enjoy some views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu down below. This is the full Ben Lomond hike from Queenstown. While it does not have the “views” per se, it is a nice trail that takes you through the forest greenery of Queenstown. The Ben Lomond track is well signed from the Skyline Gondola. View 2 - A steep climb to the saddle. 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. Beyond the saddle, the track steepens and becomes very challenging. This is the full Ben Lomond hike from Queenstown. ). I hope this guide can get you going in the right direction and on top of that peak in no time. The track makes its way above the Skyline, going much higher up but overlooking Lake Wakatipu from a similar angle. amzn_assoc_linkid = "c5ca1a34ebb2d0024e0cd3f07dcd3cb3"; It has the views, it has the incline, and it has the peak. Ben Lomond. Hilton Queenstown Resort (a bit further out of town). After making your way up, either through the Douglas fir forest or by gondola, you will start your ascent to the Ben Lomond Saddle. 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. Distance: 11 km return Duration: 3-4 hr to Ben Lomond Saddle, 6-8 hr to Ben Lomond Summit. At the bottom of the Skyline Queenstown Gondola, you will see signs pointing to the Tiki Trail. The stunning panoramic views along the entire length of the track delight and entertain hikers the whole way. From the bottom terminal of Skyline Queenstown, taking a scenic Gondola ride to the top of Bob’s Peak … Even in the height of summer the elevation and exposure to cold winds can lower the temperature drastically, so be prepared to throw on a warm layer and a windproof jacket. 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. Your email address will not be published. The first half of the Ben Lomond hike was slightly more time consuming than the way downhill. I wanted to highlight some important facts to know before heading off for this hike. As you continue the climb, the views will just continue to get better as you get a wider perspective of the lake and the surrounding mountains. It should also take about 45 minutes to get to the meet up with the Ben Lomond track so if you are trying to start your hike from Queenstown, either one of these options should work well for you. Ben Lomond track is a challenging track with a 1438m elevation gain of the walk. A challenging, but incredibly rewarding hike up the Ben Lomond summit. On Lomond Crescent you’ll find the start of the Skyline Access Road. Below is a map that shows the three starting points followed by a quick description of them. What made Ben Lomond so special for me was the constant views of Lake Wakatipu down below during the first part of the hike, followed by the never ending views of the mountain ranges as I made my way to the summit. 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. We've hand picked 5 fun things to do in Queenstown with kids, that parents will love too. The summit appears to be only a few minutes away from the saddle, but the hike from the saddle to the summit will take approximately 1-hour. This is going to be helpful when it’s dark (especially if you haven’t walked any of the Tiki Trail). Once back in town, it is time to relax those legs and start the rest and recovery process. On the other hand, if you take the round trip gondola it will cost you $44 NZD and a one way gondola down will cost $29 NZD (one way gondolas are only sold as a one way down option). Ben Lomond Track. Now do not get me wrong – the Ben Lomond hike is NO JOKE, but believe me, the climb is WELL WORTH the effort. As the path meanders its way up and around to the saddle of the Ben Lomond track you start to believe that surely the dauntingly advertised 6 hours surely cannot … 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. View 2 - A steep climb to the saddle. Some highlights from this video include: 00:01 The gondola to Bob's Peak below Ben Lomond Super accessible from the centre of town, this challenging climb has a 1,438m elevation gain that will keep you on your toes. View 1 - Beginning the walk. 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. This guide will go into detail regarding what to expect on the track and how to better prepare yourself to conquer the peak. Note that if you’re planning on hiking from town and not using the Skyline Gondola you’ll need 6-8 hours in total. If you’re keen to save about an hours worth of hiking through the forest, you can take the Skyline Gondola up through the Ben Lomond … The path from the top of the gondola to the saddle is longer but less steep while the path from the saddle to summit in shorter but much steeper and technical. ). 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. The list includes several different essentials such as: This was one hike I particularly remember sweating and be very hot on the way up and then when I reached the top it was frigid as the wind picked up and I felt that drop in temperature. Depending on daylight hours, time of year, and hiking level, you may want to start the hike earlier on in the day. Enjoy hot pools, twilight wine tours, historic cruises on the Earnslaw & the famous Night Luge! Below are some options at different price points to take a look at that are mostly within walking distance of town center: 3. Experience magnificent lake and mountain views as you climb up the saddle. If you’re keen to save about an hours worth of hiking through the forest, you can take the Skyline Gondola up through the Ben Lomond Forest for about $15. 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). It is a popular and easy to follow track. The stunning panoramic views along the entire length of the track delight and entertain hikers the whole way. amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit0"; Everything you just hiked up – well you will need to hike it back down. 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. 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. 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. 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 Ben Lomond Saddle walk is a 3 - 4 hour walk that can be accessed from the top of the gondola station. The path from the top of the gondola to saddle is one of my favorites in all of New Zealand. Ben Lomond Track: Good hike - See 686 traveller reviews, 489 candid photos, and great deals for Queenstown, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. There’s only one way up to the summit from the Saddle, you’ll follow a narrow and exposed trail that will probably require some help from your hands for balance. Follow the signs to the Ben Lomond Saddle, and eventually you’ll meet another trail which comes from the Skyline Gondola. 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