Through all our seasons in New Zealand, exploring our local walking trails continues to stay one of our all-time favourite things to do here at MajorDomo. Though our walking attire looks a little different from summer to winter, we are blessed down here in Queenstown and Wanaka that our winters are predominantly dry and sunny, meaning we can keep our sunnies in our back pockets and continue to lap up the vitamin D year-round while relaxing in the beautiful private villas around us.
Cold mornings in winter mean beautiful frosts and hard packed trails and the local landscape changes to reflect a beautiful winter wonderland. In autumn, marvel at the beautiful browns, greens and yellows as whole mountain sides transform into a flurry of native flora and fauna as the season changes. Spring sees heart-warming blossom trees lighten up the local streets and summer is just all round goodness with gardens in full bloom and views to take in from all angles.
Here’s a few of our favourite moderate walking routes that are great through all the seasons and showcase our backyard perfectly.
This undulating gravel walk is a great way to tour Lake Hayes. Considered an easy walk, it will take approximately 2 hours to complete by foot and showcases some of Queenstown’s best scenery.
Rolling hills and mountain ranges on all sides, the walk passes through a short wetland boardwalk, the Lake Hayes Reserve area – which is a popular summer spot for swimming – and the local canoe club launch spot. Crisp winter days can mean the lake settles to create a perfect mirror of its surroundings; this is definitely a walk you don’t want to forget your camera on!
One of the more challenging day walks in the Southern Lakes region, Isthmus Peak is based just past the Lake Hawea township, around 30 minutes outside of Wanaka.
This one will get your heart pumping, but the views are absolutely worth it. As you climb up a packed gravel track, you’ll get views far across Lake Hawea and on a good day, once you reach the view point, you’ll have 360 degree views out over Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea, with the mountain ranges in the background. A longer day walk, this one can take up to 6.5 hours to complete and snacks, water and warm clothes are a must due to the elevation at the top reaching 1385m.
Based beneath the Remarkable Mountain range, Jack’s Point is a newly developed subdivision of Queenstown with some beautiful walking right on its doorstep.
The Jack’s Point Trail is a great low intensity walk that takes you around the peninsulas of Lake Wakatipu to Kelvin Heights and can easily be done in reverse too. Expansive views in all directions, this one is a great walk for families that want to get outside and see a different viewpoint of Queenstown. It does start with a moderate uphill walk if you’re coming from Jack’s Point, but as with most beautiful view spots, you’ve got to get up high if you want to see the sights! Make sure you pack some sunscreen and warm layers as you’ll likely be walking in the sunshine but at the mercy of the elements with parts of the trail exposed.