IntroductionThe Ben Lomond Track is a demanding climb and a full day's hike with an 1,438 m elevation gain. On clear days trampers are rewarded at the summit with spectacular panoramic views.
Fitness required: High
11 km return via same track
Walking and tramping3-4 hr return to Ben Lomond Saddle, 6-8 hr return to Ben Lomond Summit Advanced: Tramping track
In winter you will need to carry and be able to use alpine equipment such as ice axe and crampons. The track may change between very slippery and muddy.
The Ben Lomond Track rewards trampers with spectacular 360 degree views over Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountain ranges including Ka-kamu-a-Hakitekura/Cecil and Walter Peaks and Kawarau/Remarkables. In fine weather, you may even spot Mounts Pikirakatahi/Earnslaw and Tititea/Aspiring in the distance.
The track begins among Douglas fir on Skyline Access Road or the Tiki Trail. At about 800 m altitude you leave the tree line behind to enter alpine tussocks and shrubs. Climb to the 1,326 m Ben Lomond Saddle. Beyond the saddle is Ben Lomond Station where the track becomes a marked route. From here, the terrain becomes steeper and rougher as it approaches Ben Lomond's 1,748m summit.
Note: The section from the saddle to the summit crosses private land. Respect the landowner’s rights and keep to the formed track to avoid stock disturbance and farm hazards.
Located near central Queenstown, the three access points to this track are:
- the Tiki Trail starting next to the Skyline Gondola base station at the top of Brecon Street
- from One Mile Creek Track which starts at the Fern Hill roundabout
- either the top of Skyline Access Road or the bottom of it near Lomond Crescent.
Ensure you leave enough daylight hours, but pack a headtorch just in case. In winter, you'll need alpine equipment.
What to expect
- A full day's hike with 1,438 m elevation gain. Remember, the peak is only the halfway point.
- The weather changes rapidly in this region. Hypothermia is a real risk even in summer.
- Numerous steep downhill mountain bike tracks intersect with the walking track. Due to the high speeds these are unsafe for walkers.
- Animals have also formed tracks across the mountain. Ensure you follow the signs and orange markers to stay on the right track.
- There are no toilet facilities beyond the Skyline Gondola. Plan accordingly or bring a pocket toilet, available for purchase at Whakatipu-wai-Māori / Queenstown Visitor Centre.
What to take
Watch a video to prepare
Watch the NZ Mountain Safety Council video to prepare for the Ben Lomond Track.