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ben lomond hike from gondola

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From the gondola complex look for the well-signed route that veers into the woods from the luge track. The most popular start to the Ben Lomond Hike is to hike the Tiki Trail to Bob’s Peak. I consider taking the gondola to be cheating and gondola tickets are quite expensive so I chose to walk up. We started at the base of the gondola, and after nearly 3 hours of consistent uphill we had reached the summit. But despite its easy access and location to central Queenstown, the climb up has many challenges. Luckily this is where the Skyline Gondola goes, and you can shave a good chunk of time (and effort) by riding up and starting your hike from the top. So read on to discover 3 options for starting points on the hike, a map, what to pack and how to prepare. #travel #hikes Even though the official New Zealand DOC website lists it as easy, everyone that has done the hike strongly disagrees. Frankton Arm WalkwayThe Frankton Arm walkway is also wheelchair-friendly, and the relatively flat … Rest up here, because from here on forward the real challenge starts. The trail is to the left, labelled Tiki Trail (beyond the cemetery) Transport and parking: There are 240 minute car parks beside the gondola building. From thrill-seeking, to relaxation and mind games - there's an activity to suit everyone - at any time of the year. We've hand picked 5 fun things to do in Queenstown with kids, that parents will love too. You can also start near Lomond Crescent. Push on a little bit further until you get to a resting area with a couple of benches. Take the Gondola to Skyline, follow the signs to the saddle and the steep ascent on your left to the summit (1747m). See things to do in Queenstown at night here. Even if you think you’re a seasoned hiker, still add another hour on top of your regular pace. Plan your trip to be down before the sun sets! The Ben Lomond track can be accessed via three main routes that start at the One Mile Carpark, the access road on Lomond Crescent or from the Skyline Building on Brecon Street. From the gondola complex look for the well-signed route that veers into the woods from the luge track. Site notes: Data is provisional and subject to revision. In the winter, the hike gets a complete makeover by the soft blankets of snow, especially closer to the peak. The whole hike from the top of the Skyline Gondola to the Ben Lomond Summit and back should take at least 5-6 hours with stops. Take at least 1,5 liters of water as there is nowhere to fill up on the trail after the top of the gondola, and pack a lunch and some high-energy snacks. Tiki to the top of the Gondolo took about 25 minutes, and they have a … It’s the best day hike in Queenstown (and one of the best in New Zealand) and I highly recommend doing at least some of it. Take note of the time here and set yourself a goal to keep moving toward the summit. 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. 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. Once you reach the saddle between Ben Lomond and Bowen Peak the track climbs the northeast ridge until it loops around and gains the summit from western side. The top of the Skyline is the starting point for most of the mountain biking trails, and a lot of them cross the Tiki Trail and the Skyline Access Road. Some highlights from this video include: 00:01 The gondola to Bob's Peak below Ben Lomond 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. Remember that after reaching the peak, you still have to go the same length back. Beyond the saddle, the track steepens and becomes very challenging. That’s how Craving Adventure, a travel blog with a strong focus on adventure, offbeat travel and authentic experiences, was born. Tom and Zi are the creatives behind Craving Adventure. From the top of the gondola, the trail is 11km or 6.8 miles and from Queenstown, the trail is 14 km or 8.6 miles. Start Point: Begin at the bottom of the Queestown gondola. https://www.myguidequeenstown.com/usefulinfo/queenstown-walks Be very careful when you cross these intersections, mountainbikers can come down at high speeds and are often so focussed on racing down that they might not even notice you. 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. The Ben Lomond Track starts at the top of Skyline Gondola. Well, after the Tongariro Crossing of course. This is where the track becomes very uneven, so be careful of where you place your feet so you don’t twist an ankle. It takes 6 to 8 hours to walk up and down Ben Lomond if you start walking from the Tiki Trail. © Craving Adventure | Designed with + + ☕ by Studio Milak | This site contains affiliate links and uses cookies, read about it here: Privacy Policy, Disclaimer, T&C, find the location of the skyline access road here, 7 tourist traps you should not avoid in new zealand, The 4 best hikes in mount cook national park, Queenstown to Glenorchy - New Zealand’s most scenic drive. A communication device in case you need assistance. Access. The full hike takes 6-8 hours and has an incline practically the whole way, so one thing is for sure; this certainly counts as leg day! As you start the Ben Lomond Track from the gondola, the first part is through the woods and still shaded. 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. The Skyline Access Road is basically just a long and windy gravel road for machinery and maintenance crew to get up to the gondola. Take some time to take it all in. Zoom in to see the various hiking options for the Ben Lomond Day Hike. One of the great things about the Ben Lomond Track is that it is so easily accessible. 6-8 hrs from Queenstown (40km) Be sure to take; water, sunscreen, hat, layers/ wind jacket, and snacks. In the summer, Ben Lomond is an easy rated track flooded with tourists. 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. 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). Gondola Open Hours: Tap here for Skyline Queenstown Gondola open hoursGondola Prices: Tap here for Skyline Queenstown Gondola prices. This route will lead you through old Douglas Fir’s and into some of Queenstown’s most beautiful native Beech forest. The views are out of this world, I can honestly say that I haven’t found a hike in New Zealand that beats Ben Lomond’s epic views. It has almost everything you want in a day hike; different landscapes, a mountaintop to climb and incredible, and I mean INCREDIBLE views. Through their in depth and easy to follow travel guides & itineraries they help you travel more, travel better and always encourage you to take the path less travelled. Although the snow makes the route significantly more challenging, the views afforded … 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. Beached As is narrow and flows well for the adrenaline seeking mountain biker but sticking to the Ben Lomond walking track is a much nicer experience for hikers. © 2017 - 2021 Skyline Enterprises Limited. For more information and up-to-date alerts about the Ben Lomond Track, access the official Department of Conservation website. So if you think you can use a mountainbiking trail as a shortcut; bad idea. From the Skyline complex, follow a well-signalled track through the woods until it emerges into an opening that will give you the first views of Ben Lomond towering above. Trekked up Ben Lomond after forgoing the gondola and climbing the Tiki Trail. Apart from the gondola, luge and mountain biking park there is also a restaurant called Stratosfare at Skyline, a startgazing site, and a paragliding center. For about half an hour your views are limited to the surrounding hills. A very important detail about Ben Lomond Scenic Reserve, is that is is also home to a world-class mountain biking park. Also note that this is a full day’s hike and the weather conditions can change rapidly, so be prepared with: The Ben Lomond Track is recommended to be completed during the summer season. However you get to this point, you’re above Bob’s Peak and you’re a third of the way there. The second part is where you leave the last bits of vegetation behind and climb up over barren rocks until you finally reach the top. Xx AK. But if you think taking the gondola will shorten your trip up Ben Lomond to 2.5 'moderate' miles, then you are nuts! 2. Enjoy hot pools, twilight wine tours, historic cruises on the Earnslaw & the famous Night Luge! There is risk of avalanches and the icy rocks on the track become very slippery. This is an option for those who want to check out the activities offered at Skyline Queenstown, but aren’t too keen on paying for a gondola ticket.The top of the Tiki Trail branches off into the Ben Lomond Track on the left and the Skyline Access Road on the right. 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. 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 Ben Lomond track starts at the beginning of the Skyline Gondola which is on Beacon Street. I’ll be honest though, we decided to go up the gondola and come down knocking off about an hour and 40 minutes off our round trip. Don’t think you can do this hike on your comfy sneakers, because you’ll come home with your feet covered in nasty blisters. If you are tired you can use the gondola to go down. If you are wondering what to bring along when taking part … How hard is the Ben Lomond trail? 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. The most popular start to the Ben Lomond Hike is to hike the Tiki Trail to Bob’s Peak. Not only was this so steep that climbing up was a serious challenge, you also really don’t hear mountainbikers coming until they are basically about to hit you. Both starts take you up a steep path climbing about 400 meters in one hour. So once again, while you’re at the saddle you should assess your energy levels. Ben Lomond Track: We did this after the gondola - See 686 traveler reviews, 493 candid photos, and great deals for Queenstown, New Zealand, at Tripadvisor. Path of Ben Lomond Track. Make sure you aren’t put off by the steep start to the hike, hang in there, it gets easier. From the top stunning 360 degrees view, amazing hike!! What to Bring on the Trail. Extra layer of clothing and an extra shirt: You’ll be sweating buckets on the way up, but the top gets quite windy, so a dry shirt and an extra layer of clothing will save you from catching a cold. A stunning view over Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu to the South-East, and flowing green hillsides and impressive mountain ranges to the North-West. This can be a full day walk so take extra clothing, drinks and food. You gotta have some serious skill to land that I’d say! The Tiki Trail and Skyline Access Road do meet about halfway up, so you can combine parts of both too. When I finally found a way to get off the mountain biking trail it turned out I did in fact manage to get on the Tiki Trail, just way further up than intended. The first half of the Ben Lomond hike was slightly more time consuming than the way downhill. 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. The incline here is still pretty minimal, so enjoy the sun on your face before it gets hot and sweaty. I started from the bottom of the Skyline Access Road because it has free roadside parking. Hat and sunglasses: You should wear a hat and sunglasses for the same reason you should wear sunscreen; to protect yourself from the sun. 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. And the best thing is, you can head out straight from your Queenstown accommodation without the hassle of organising transport or paying for a guide. Once you have soaked in the views, retrace your steps on the way back. More site notes. The first is to take the gondola up and skip walking 400m of elevation, an hour of walking each way, and you can combine your gondola ticket with luge rides that are awesome. When you’re on the top you’re standing at 1748 meters above sea level and just climbed a total elevation elevation of 1403 meters. Complete Ben Lomond via Tiki Trail and receive 86 points. Start from the Skyline gondola complex with the Tiki Trail, amid native bush and surrounded by adventurers ziplining and mountain biking. Photograph is of the Ben Lomond Trail SNOTEL site. HELPING YOU TRAVEL MORE, TRAVEL BETTER AND ALWAYS ENCOURAGING YOU TO TAKE THE PATH LESS TRAVELLED. Skyline access road - find the location of the skyline access road here. Hiking to the Saddle After making your way up, either through the Douglas fir forest or by gondola, you will start your ascent to the Ben Lomond Saddle. Rainjacket: The weather can change quickly in the mountains. As mentioned before, the Skyline Access Road and Tiki Trail do meet about halfway up, so my plan was to switch over to the Tiki Trail as soon as I could. You’ll wanna sit there and just stare at the view for hours, but you still need to get back and the way down takes almost as long as the way up. It was definitely worth the effort! 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. There are 3 potential starting points to the Ben Lomond Track: From the bottom terminal of Skyline Queenstown, taking a scenic Gondola ride to the top of Bob’s Peak will save you (and your knees) up to one hour of hiking. The trek from the gondola is still a good 6-7 hard miles. The Ben Lomond track is well signed from the Skyline Gondola. Fortunately he got home without any serious injuries, but this could have ended much much worse. Description 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). Ben Lomond. The Skyline Access Road will lead you halfway up Bob’s Peak, where you’ll find the signposted start to the single track at a large open area knows as the ‘Midway Clearing’. If using the third option the easiest form of access is via the Skyline Gondola which takes you part way up the mountain, with foot access from the same location via the Tiki Trail. After an hour or so we reached a saddle where the trail forks. The Ben Lomond Track is a demanding climb and a full day's hike with an 1,438 m elevation gain. Take the opportunity here to use the bench seat as a resting point and give yourself time to fuel up with snacks. From the top of the gondola the track is 11 km long. How long does the Ben Lomond Track take to hike? Then the view opens up with Ben Lomond’s rocky peak appearing in the distance and you can already see the steep and exposed path to the top that awaits you. Again, don’t underestimate this hike. This is the Ben Lomond Saddle where wide vistas on either side reward you for coming this far. The map includes the 3 different start locations, and we've separated the Ben Lomond Saddle from the Summit section. From the top of the gondola, it takes 4 to 5 hours and from Queenstown, it takes 6 to 7 hours to complete the trail. The Trail to Ben Lomond: Our hike started just past where the gondola drops you off and heads off through pine forest. Plenty of reasons to go back here another day after you’ve conquered Ben Lomond. The official starting point of the Ben Lomond Track is next to the top of Queenstown’s Skyline Gondola and here are three ways to get up to the starting point. As you walk up the Tiki Trail you can already see more and more of Lake Wakatipu under you, and when you get to the top of the gondola you should definitely check out the view from the Skyline Viewpoint to give you a taste of the kind of views you’ll get from the top. Follow the signs to the Ben Lomond Saddle, and eventually you’ll meet another trail which comes from the Skyline 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. Located at 1,748m over Queenstown and the Lake Wakatipu, the Ben Lomond summit is a bucket-list day hike for both hikers and adventure-seekers alike. 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. On Lomond Crescent you’ll find the start of the Skyline Access Road. Sunscreen: The sun in New Zealand is always harsh, even in winter or on overcast days you can easily get sunburnt, so always wear sunscreen. Hiking Ben Lomond: the gondola route (2-3 hours return) There are two main ways to tackle this peak. This is how you hike the Ben Lomond track. This route will lead you through old Douglas Fir’s and into some of Queenstown’s most beautiful native Beech forest. Make sure you aren’t put off by the steep start to the hike, hang in there, it gets easier. 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. For those in not as good of shape, you can ride the gondola up to save yourself some time. The Ben Lomond Track starts at the top of Bob’s Peak, a forested hill above Queenstown. The Ben Lomond Walkway hiking experience The track starts climbing through a plantation of firs, before you leave the forest behind and enter tussock country, where you’ll be able to see Ben Lomond above you. The Ben Lomond Track really has is all when it comes to great day hikes. When you break out of the trees on Bob’s Peak, you’ll see the clearly marked trail contouring alongside a ridgeline and despite the long and steady work to hike uphill, the views of the Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu will give you the joy and inspiration you need to keep climbing. The Ben Lomond Track is of medium - advanced difficulty and requires being reasonaby fit. 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. For about half an hour your views are limited to the surrounding hills. Ben Lomond mountain is a very popular hike in Queenstown, due to its accessibility and beautiful views. What looks to be a sunny day with perfect clear skies can change into dark clouds and showers in no-time. Ben Lomond Track: After ascending the hill from Queenstown (either by foot or gondola) the track follows the ridge just below the top. On clear days trampers are rewarded at the summit with spectacular panoramic views. If you want to avoid a crowd at the top, set off before 8am. The hike up Ben Lomond mountain is one of Queenstown’s best day hikes. Yes, there is free parking at the bottom of the Tiki Trail, but this parking lot has a maximum parking time of 4 hours. Next time you find yourself in Queenstown, be sure to check out this amazing hike. The second is to walk up via a path called the Tiki Trail, and the third is to walk up over the Skyline Access Road. Also accessible from central Queenstown is the challenging 4+ hour Ben Lomond saddle 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. Headtorch: Make sure you have enough daylight hours to go up and back down when you start the hike, but as the hike can easily take longer than expected, take a headtorch with you just in case. Tiki trail - find the location of the tiki trail here, 3. Read on to discover what else Queenstown has in store for you: Discover the best rainy day acitivities in Queenstown. This is the full Ben Lomond hike from Queenstown. If you still feel energetic when you reach the saddle, continue all the way up to the peak, but if you don’t then maybe it is best to turn around here. If you skip the first part and start walking from the top of the gondola, it takes 4-6 hours. In winter and spring the top half of the track is gets covered in snow and ice. This way you’ll also avoid the hottest part of the day during the tough climb up. The views are truly epic, no matter which direction you look. Roadside markers indicate which path is yours and which is a mountain biking trail, so keep an eye out for those. The start of the track lies just 5 minutes outside of Queenstown’s centre, so you don’t have to go out of your way to do this hike like with some of New Zealand’s Great Walks for example. You’re not in the trees for long however, and most of the hike is exposed and above the treeline like most of the hiking seems to be in New Zealand. 2-3 hrs return from 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. 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. During the hike you will cross private lands, so be mindful to leave no rubbish behind and stick to the formed track to avoid stock disturbance and farm hazards. 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’. I did it! In 2018 they chose to wander, to explore and to show others how to follow their path. 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). The trail begins in the gondola car park and ascends quickly through a forest of Douglas Fir trees which you will hike through for about an hour and a half over a few downhill mountain bike trails before the trail turns into tussock and scrub and incredible views of the summit Ben Lomond begin to show themselves. Food and water: Count on the hike taking 6-8 hours, depending on your level of fitness and how many photo stops you take. After you’ve set off from the saddle with determination to conquer Ben Lomond’s peak, the first half of the way up will be still be over a dirt track with patches of grass sticking out. Beautiful Queenstown down below, Lake Wakatipu winding in front of you, the Remarkables and Bayonet Peaks across the lake in the distance, Moke Lake far below on the other side and the Southern Alps stretching behind it. 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. I don’t recommend hiking outside up Ben Lomond outside of summer and autumn unless you have experience hiking with alpine gear over snow and ice. 1748m - Ben Lomond peak. 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. The first part to the top of the gondola is pretty steep, then to the Ben Lomond saddle the slope is going up gently and the last part to the summit is very steep, if you scared of height don’t do the last part. At the start of the Tiki Trail there is free parking as well, but it is limited to 4 hours maximum and that won’t be enough time to complete the hike. However, climbing Ben Lomond is not a joke and should not be underestimated, but the reward is well worth the effort. It is not that interesting in terms of scenery compared to the Tiki Trail, and also a bit longer, but not nearly as steep to a good option if you don’t feel like exhausting yourself before the real hike even starts. 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.

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