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Queenstown Hill, Queenstown Overview

Also known as Te Tapu-nui in the Maori (Eastern Polynesian language), Queenstown Hill is a small mountain near Queenstown in New Zealand. Standing at a height of 2976 ft. above the ground level, the mountain is a popular sightseeing spot and a tourist attraction in the region. The base of the hill, usually the lower elevation i.e. the areas in and around Frankton Road and Marina Heights, have residential households and setups while the middle elevation has dense vegetation of douglas fir and birch trees. The cliff of the mountain is mostly bare with grassy cover of tussock and native vegetation. Other than popular activities like trekking and hiking, the mountain offers enchanting panoramic vistas of the surroundings and valley below.

It is usually frequented by adventure sports enthusiasts and photography buffs who visit here to capture the bounteous natural beauty not only in their memories but also their cameras. A large part of the hill is also owned by the Middletons who bought the lease in 1963 and had the freehold on the land by 1978. The very famous Queenstown Hill Time Walk is organized on the part-owned by the Middletons.

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Queenstown Hill Time Walk

Queenstown Hill Time Walk is one of the most amazing and most popular hikes in the region which was started to mark the millennium in 2000. It is a short uphill trek that ends with beautiful panoramic vistas and surreal views of Lake Wakatipu, the Remarkables, Cecil Peak, Walter Peak, and other mountains. Believed to be one of the most scenic walks in Queenstown, the trail follows a gentle gradient which is ideal even for the amateurs, kids and beginners. The walk begins at the mid level of the hill, from the douglas fir forests and accents upwards through spectacular cairn rock sculptures displayed en route.  

You will also encounter pristine green open grasslands with terrific views of the city below, tranquil Lake Wakatipu and mighty mountain peaks in the backdrop. At a certain junction, you will also find a diversion in order to decide whether to go left or right. The right is the extended route and the left one is shorter. However, both trails lead to the top with a little time difference. The stunning scenery get even better from the top where you can also find the majestic sculpture of the Basket of Dreams. There is also an option for another climb even above this which takes 15- 20 min more and promises even better views. If you aren’t tired enough, you can embark on this one as well.

Basket of Dreams at Queenstown Hill

Basket of Dreams is a spectacular artwork created at the top of the peak by the renowned artist Caroline Robinson as a mark of the Millennium 2000. It is basically an elaborate metallic spiral on the base of rocky stone. There is also a placard near the sculpture with a poem from the same artists. The vantage point provides stunning views of the surrounding.

Tips

  1. Wear proper footwear. Especially in winters. Some areas here receive snowfall so you will need to wear waterproof hiking boots.
  2. During summer months, carry plenty of water (Approx. 1 L per person).
  3. Also carry sunscreen and wear a hat in order to avoid direct rays of the sun.
  4. Be careful of the poisonous mushrooms that grow in the area. They have a red bulb around them for identification. In that case, you not consume anything that you find on the way unless you are not sure.
  5. If you are hiking during sunset or later, be sure to carry a torch light and extra batteries.

How To Reach Queenstown Hill

If you are in Queenstown:
  • Drive on the Frankfurt Road towards Dublin Street. The Street leads to the outskirts of Queenstown on the Highway 6A which is the enter or exit for the town.
  • Here you will find a sharp bend. This road will take you to Edinburgh Drive on your right from where you need to take a right turn.
  • Once you reach a sharp intersection, take a left.
  • Take another left at Belfast Terrace and drive straight till you reach a parking spot.
  • Here you will find a Queenstown Hill Time Walkaway sign with extensive instructions and an elaborate road map.

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