Bob’s Peak is a pretty, but super-easy hike and was our last walk on New Zealand’s South Island. *Sob* Queenstown is ridiculously beautiful! The town is surrounded by mountains and gorgeous blue lakes. The airport has to have some of the best take-off views of anywhere in the world. But…we had been so busy hiking our way around New Zealand, that we didn’t actually have much time in Queenstown.
Even if we only have a few hours, we still fancied stretching our legs. So we hiked (well, took a gondola and then walked up) Bob’s peak for lovey views over the town and surrounding countryside.
Bob’s Peak (Skyline Loop) map
Bob’s Peak or Ben Lombard
Bob’s Peak is part of the ridge of Ben Lombard. According to Wikipedia, it’s actually called Cemetery Hill, but everyone ignores that and calls it Bob’s Peak. There is another small peak nearby that is also called Bob’s Peak – so maybe that is why there is so much confusion!? Anyway, I found a good NZ topo map that shows the area, and the all trails map above will give you a better idea of the possible trails.
Although there is a track up the mountain, we were getting on a flight in a few hours, so we decided to stay sweat-free and take the Gondola. It costs $39 NZD per person. You can pay more to ride the luge, which also looked pretty fun! You can find up-to-date prices here.
The only problem is the queue! We had to line up for around 30 minutes to buy tickets and get onto the gondola(!) It was possible to cut the wait-time by purchasing tickets in town, so when we return to Queenstown, we’ll do that next time! Anyway, the views were worth the wait!
Ben Lomond track
Once we were up on Bob’s Peak, we had planned to walk along the Ben Lomond track to see some views. The walk starts off in the woods, so we hid in the shade and hoped we’d see mountain views soon.
It actually didn’t take long for the path to open out and reward us with some stunning vistas! It was a hot sunny day so we could see all the mountains across Lake Wakatipu.
There were whole patches of dead forest. I am not sure what was causing that, but hopefully they will be able to rejuvenate the vegetation soon!
Hiking the whole way to Ben Lomond takes 5-7 hours, so we’d miss our flight if we tried it. But you can see that it looks like a really fun hike for another time!
Heading back to Bob’s Peak
Earlier in the week, I had found a useful blog that mentioned there were more views if you don’t mind hiking up behind the gondola station. So we decided to search for this viewpoint next. To start with, we followed the skyline loop track further into the woods. We then followed the signs for paragliders.
Paragliding from Bob’s Peak
After about 15 minutes hiking higher and higher on the mountain bike paths through the trees, we found the paragliding area. This had fantastic views over to Ben Lomond as well as down to Queenstown.
This must be a stunning place to go paragliding! I guess paragliding adventurers must jump off this cliff!
I spy another path
The thing is, there was an obvious path further up the mountain, beyond the paragliding area. Marc and I both find it hard to resist a peak, especially when it is so tantalizingly close. So we kept walking up the steep slope to the Southern part of Ben Lomond.
It was only another 20 minutes to hike up to another really amazing viewpoint.
So, that was our easy hike a teeny way above the gondola on Bob’s Peak.
On our return, we followed the Skyline loop back to the gondola. This is one of the views from this loop – so even if you don’t fancy a steep climb, this is still pretty awesome!
We had to zoom down the gondola, take our car back to the rental car place and get back to the airport. However, as Queenstown is so small, this was not stressful at all. The airport itself was surrounded by mountains in all directions, so I was really excited to see the views from the sky!
Look at all those gorgeous ridgewalks! I am so, so keen to come back and hike more in this area as the birds eye view around Queenstown was amaaaazing.
On the flight South, we were also treated to some amazing views of the Mount Cook / Aoraki area. This was one of my favourite places in NZ, so it was amazing to see it from above. If you didn’t see my posts about it please take a peek:
- Day Hikes in Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park
- Details about the stunning Mueller Hut trail
- Details about the easy, but beeeeautiful Hooker Valley Track