This can be a full day walk so take extra clothing, drinks and food. I hope this guide can get you going in the right direction and on top of that peak in no time. The stunning panoramic views along the entire length of the track delight and entertain hikers the whole way. If you begin your hike in the Queenstown CBD, you’ll gain a total of 1,438-metres of elevation in just 5.5-kilometres (11-kilometres return). • Another thing to point out here is that on top of the gondola you will find a restaurant/café if you need to take a break and there is also the famous Queenstown luge – a fun option to maybe add to the end of your day. Like mentioned earlier, it can get very chilly and windy on top now that you have stopped moving and are just standing on the peak. This is the full Ben Lomond hike from Queenstown. Hilton Queenstown Resort (a bit further out of town). You will need to watch your step and take it slow. Depending on daylight hours, time of year, and hiking level, you may want to start the hike earlier on in the day. 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. Although not a technically difficult climb the mountain looks quite rugged as many other peaks in the Southern Alps.This mountain can be climbed beginning from the town of Queenstown or if you'd like a shorter and easier day you can ride the Skyline Gondola up and down to shorten your day. Ben Lomond Track. In winter you are required to carry and be able to use alpine equipment such as ice axe and crampons, as the track may change between snow and ice to very slippery and muddy. Nowadays, Ben Lomond is one of the places where my family goes to remember my grandparents. Well, by now you should be all good to go to conquer the Ben Lomond track on your own. 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. 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. 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. Path of Ben Lomond Track. The hike to the summit does not require any specialised mountaineering equipment or experience, but it’s recommended to keep your focus and body weight pointing toward the uphill side of the trail to avoid an uncomfortable fall. So once again, while you’re at the saddle you should assess your energy levels. Hiking Ben Lomond: the gondola route (2-3 hours return) There are two main ways to tackle this peak. Then once you walk out of the woods you get out in the open and this is where the track starts to go up through grassland. 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. Your other option here is just to simply take the Queenstown Gondola up to the starting point of the trail. At about 800 m altitude you leave the tree line behind to enter alpine tussocks and shrubs. Follow the signs to the Ben Lomond Saddle, and eventually you’ll meet another trail which comes from the Skyline Gondola. If there is low cloud coverage, that can get in the way of the views both during the hike and on top of the mountain. Keep an eye out along the way – the hidden artefacts in the forest will leave you feeling like you were in the company of giants. amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart"; Bringing those layers can work wonders on top of Ben Lomond! If you download Maps.me (offline maps), you’ll be able to make sure you’re on track. Ben Lomond Track: Awesome Day Hike - Amazing Views - See 685 traveler reviews, 489 candid photos, and great deals for Queenstown, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. 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. This way you can avoid hiking up during the hottest point of the day, and you can get back down in Queenstown before the sun starts going down. My favourite part of this hike, was the gondola. A challenging hike to beautiful vistas above Queenstown and the Lake Wakatipu basin, Ben Lomond is a hike you don't want to miss when you come to New Zealand. If you are tired you can use the gondola to go down. Ben Lomond Track: loved this hike - See 685 traveller reviews, 489 candid photos, and great deals for Queenstown, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. At the bottom of the Skyline Queenstown Gondola, you will see signs pointing to the Tiki Trail. amzn_assoc_region = "US"; Ben Lomond Track, Queenstown: Address, Phone Number, Ben Lomond Track Reviews: 5/5. 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. Although Ben Lomond can be done from Queenstown proper, a start from the top of the Skyline Gondola will save an hour of work (not to mention around 400 metres of vertical climb). This can be a full day walk so take extra clothing, drinks and food. Ben Lomond Track: Challenging walk from gondola - See 686 traveller reviews, 489 candid photos, and great deals for Queenstown, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. 2. It should take just about an hour to get to the top as you pick and choose your next step up the mountain. 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 … However you get to this point, you’re above Bob’s Peak and you’re a third of the way there. I wanted to highlight some important facts to know before heading off for this hike. 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. Hiking Ben Lomond taking the gondola. Note that if you’re planning on hiking from town and not using the Skyline Gondola you’ll need 6-8 hours in total. This can be great as you know how close you are getting, or it can be very frustrating as you know how far away you are from the top. 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. View 2 - A steep climb to the saddle. Reward yourself with stunning 360° views over Queenstown and the surrounding region on this challenging hike to the peak of Ben Lomond, which starts from the Gondola base station in the heart of downtown. If you are looking for an amazing winter holiday filled with activities for the whole family, look no more: you’ll find a real winter wonderland in Queenstown. Enjoy hot pools, twilight wine tours, historic cruises on the Earnslaw & the famous Night Luge! Ben Lomond is known as one of the most beautiful tramps in New Zealand. It’s practically in the city, but still sufficiently challenging and offers a great scenic view of the area from Lake Wakatipu, Arthur’s Point and Queenstown.It doesn’t take much effort to get on this hike – the trailhead starts just 10 minutes walk from Queenstown city center. As you decide when to head out on the trail I highly recommend doing so on the clearest day possible, Take a Look at Some New Zealand Guide Books For Your Trip, 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, 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, To your left will be those Lake Wakatipu views and to your right will be these incredible ever expanding mountain views. Experience magnificent lake and mountain views as you climb up the saddle. I like that it is not very difficult, and it’s … Ben Lomond Track: Hike - See 685 traveller reviews, 493 candid photos, and great deals for Queenstown, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. The track makes its way above the Skyline, going much higher up but overlooking Lake Wakatipu from a similar angle. 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. On our way back down we met an American soldier (on vacation! As you decide when to head out on the trail I highly recommend doing so on the clearest day possible. View 3 - Panoramic views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables. 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. Hiking Ben Lomond taking the gondola. The first part of the hike that leaves from the top of the gondola lulls you into a false sense of security. 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. It's a steep trek, so take suitable walking shoes. Reaching the Saddle takes about 2 hours one-way. It is NOT for everyone and you need to be in good physical condition to complete the track. This is the full Ben Lomond hike from Queenstown. Getting to the Ben Lomond Track Again, saving an hour of uphill hiking by taking the gondola up is a good idea if you can spare the cash. The track begins among Douglas fir on Skyline Access Road or the Tiki Trail. This is going to be helpful when it’s dark (especially if you haven’t walked any of the Tiki Trail). The Ben Lomond Saddle walk is a 3 - 4 hour walk that can be accessed from the top of the gondola station. Below is a map that shows the three starting points followed by a quick description of them. The path is on a constant incline for the most part and will be made up of a dirt track with some steps sprinkled in throughout. Some highlights from this video include: 00:01 The gondola to Bob's Peak below Ben Lomond Tips for Ben Lomond Track. ). amzn_assoc_title = ""; Have fun out there! If taking part of the trail you are most likely doing so from Queenstown. 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 … A communication device in case you need assistance. See from the video but it was a good hike...you can skip the first part by taking the gondola … When I think of hiking in New Zealand, one of the first ones to come to mind will always be the Ben Lomond Track in Queenstown. Do you want to stay up to date and receive the latest travel iTINeraries, guides and tips to better plan your next trip around the world? Ben Lomond track is a challenging track with a 1438m elevation gain of the walk. View 4 - Looking up to Ben Lomond When we reached the Skyline Gondola area it was nice to use maps.me to make sure we weren’t making a wrong turn off going through there. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is best used from November until April. by CharlesJul 13, 2019Blog, New Zealand, New Zealand Blog. Ben Lomond Track: Awesome hike! When in Queenstown, the Ben Lomond hike is a “must do”. The Ben Lomond Saddle is also a critical point on the hike to reassess the weather conditions, which could have easily changed in the time its taken to journey here. This hike is more difficult and you really have to plan it well so you can finish it in daylight. If you want to decide before this then you would need to opt for the hike up from Queenstown. 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. Ben Lomond Track: Challenging walk from gondola - See 686 traveller reviews, 489 candid photos, and great deals for Queenstown, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. Now do not get me wrong – the Ben Lomond hike is NO JOKE, but believe me, the climb is WELL WORTH the effort. The trail is actually longer if you start in town. Cecil and Walter Peaks View 1 - Beginning the walk. Book your tickets online for Ben Lomond Track, Queenstown: See 686 reviews, articles, and 489 photos of Ben Lomond Track, ranked No.3 on Tripadvisor among 80 attractions in Queenstown. Reward yourself with stunning 360° views over Queenstown and the surrounding region on this challenging hike to the peak of Ben Lomond, which starts from the Gondola base station in the heart of downtown. Sure there are countless others around the country – everything from Roys Peak in Wanaka to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing on the North Island. 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. View 4 - Looking up to Ben Lomond When you reach the summit of Ben Lomond, you’ll be rewarded with majestic 360-degree views of Queenstown, the Remarkables, Mt Aspiring National Park. You may also find a Kea or two - a native New Zealand alpine parrot that really enjoys greeting the hikers, sometimes by stealing their food, so keep an eye on your belongings. It has the views, it has the incline, and it has the peak. The Ben Lomond Saddle walk is a 3 - 4 hour walk that can be accessed from the top of the gondola station. 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. Ben Lomond is known as one of the most beautiful tramps in New Zealand. amzn_assoc_linkid = "c5ca1a34ebb2d0024e0cd3f07dcd3cb3"; Difficulty: Advanced Best time of year to go: October till April / May. We did not do this but I think prices for the gondola … amzn_assoc_search_bar = "false"; The first half of the Ben Lomond hike was slightly more time consuming than the way downhill. 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). 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. You can head over the Ben Lomond weather page for the latest – there are many Ben Lomond’s on the website so follow the link for the correct one. Ben Lomond Track: Hike - See 685 traveller reviews, 493 candid photos, and great deals for Queenstown, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. - See 686 traveller reviews, 489 candid photos, and great deals for Queenstown, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. It is a great lakeside town with plenty of accommodation options to choose from. This 10 minute journey will take you above the forest, as you enjoy some views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu down below. At the saddle you will then be pointed left up towards the final summit push. Hike to the Ben Lomond SADDLE As you start the Ben Lomond Track from the gondola, the first part is through the woods and still shaded. From thrill-seeking, to relaxation and mind games - there's an activity to suit everyone - at any time of the year. Overview Ben Lomond is a prominent peak just outside of Queenstown. amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "manual"; It will take you about 2 hours to hike to the saddle and then another 1 or 2 (of steeper and rougher track) to the summit. The summit is special (especially in winter / early spring) but if you only go as far as the saddle you’ll still see some incredible vistas. Have fun out there and safe travels! A challenging hike to beautiful vistas above Queenstown and the Lake Wakatipu basin, Ben Lomond is a hike you don't want to miss when you come to New Zealand. 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. Gondola Open Hours: Tap here for Skyline Queenstown Gondola open hoursGondola Prices: Tap here for Skyline Queenstown Gondola prices. The time will fly by while you’re resting, the Ben Lomond Saddle is the first time on the hike you’ll get to see the awe-inspiring peaks of Mt Aspiring National Park. ). Everything you just hiked up – well you will need to hike it back down. Ben Lomond Track via Skyline Queenstown is a 7.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Queenstown, Otago, New Zealand that offers scenic views and is rated as difficult. Distance: 11 km return Duration: 3-4 hr to Ben Lomond Saddle, 6-8 hr to Ben Lomond Summit. But seriously, if your planning on doing the entire Ben Lomond, it’s quite the treat to be able to shave off an hour off your hike! 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