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Day walks

Sydney, Australia
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845 posts
28 reviews
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Day walks

A few questions....In mid January we plan to spend 12-14 days in the South Island and would like to do some nice day walks, including the Routeburn Track.

If we base ourselves around Queenstown are there many nice independent day walking options?

Is there any disadvantage in flying directly to Queenstown rather than Christchurch?

Thanks a lot.

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South Island
South Island
New Zealand
Routeburn Track
Routeburn Track
556 Reviews
Te Anau, New Zealand
Queenstown
Queenstown
Otago Region, New Zealand
Christchurch
Christchurch
Canterbury Region, New Zealand
Christchurch, New...
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329 posts
27 reviews
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1. Re: Day walks

Flying direct to Queenstown would be a good idea. Lots of walking options in the area. Are you planning to hire a car? The major tracks like Routeburn will have public transport options but you will have much more flexibility and be able to get to more walks if you hire a car at least for some of the time

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Queenstown
Queenstown
Otago Region, New Zealand
Ballarat, Australia
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1,318 posts
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2. Re: Day walks

If doing day walks I'd also recommend a car hire to make getting to trail ends easy.

Queenstown takes you right into the heart of some of the country's best hiking areas - there are enough wonderful tracks around there that it would take months to explore them all! Yes, if you want to maximise your outdoors time it's a great idea to fly into Queenstown direct. Good bases are Queenstown, Glenorchy/Kinloch (up the other end of Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown) and Wanaka.

We are spending 12 days in that area this summer, mostly for hiking, and we are staying four nights Kinloch, four nights Queenstown and four nights Wanaka. They're not far apart but we don't mind moving on every four days and it will reduce drive time as opposed to staying at one base.

The DoC website has good info about the tracks. …govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/… When you arrive, you can go into the DoC info centre to get up-to-date info about track conditions, closures, etc, buy trail brochures for individual trails, and to log intentions. A park map for Aspiring National Park would be useful.

There are also some good walks around Cromwell, not in national parks. The Cromwell info centre has a free brochure about the local walks, pdf version linked on this page: cromwell.org.nz/things-to-do-cromwell/activi… We plan to do some of these while we're in Queenstown.

Edited: 25 November 2013, 06:54
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Queenstown
Queenstown
Otago Region, New Zealand
Glenorchy
Glenorchy
Otago Region, New Zealand
Kinloch Lodge
Kinloch Lodge
315 Reviews
Glenorchy, New Zealand
Lake Wakatipu
Lake Wakatipu
536 Reviews
Queenstown, New Zealand
Wanaka
Wanaka
Otago Region, New Zealand
Cromwell
Cromwell
Central Otago, New Zealand
Sydney, Australia
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845 posts
28 reviews
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3. Re: Day walks

Thanks so very much.

We will definitely be hiring a car and jean, your itinerary would be exactly what we would want to do too.

Any accommodation etc recommendations?

Ballarat, Australia
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1,318 posts
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4. Re: Day walks

Well I can share where we're staying. :) We always stay at places where we can self-cater, as we prefer to have money for activities and special dinners rather than ordinary meals. I usually look at private rooms in YHA hostels first, as they usually have good kitchens and an older/more mixed clientele than some other backpacker places, and the price is right.

At Kinloch we're staying at Kinloch Lodge, in the "Wilderness" (YHA affiliated) wing. kinlochlodge.co.nz/Accommodation/WildernessL… The cheaper rooms (called "backpacker") are near the kitchen and noisy, so it's worth paying a few more dollars for the "wilderness" rooms. If you want to go a bit fancier, they also have the "Heritage" lodge, which does bed and breakfast but still has shared bathrooms. The restaurant is quite good.

In Queenstown we're staying at the Lakefront YHA. It is quieter than Queenstown Central YHA and has parking, but is still within easy walking distance of the town centre. Some rooms have a lake view. We're travelling with our young adult daughters, and the Lakefront YHA actually has a private 2-bedroom apartment that will suit us perfectly and I booked early so we got that. yha.co.nz/hostels/…

In Wanaka we're also staying at the YHA yha.co.nz/hostels/… It is very well located with a view of the lake and close to shops and restaurants.

Of course, having our daughters with us, staying at hostels is also more fun for them as they can meet other young people to chat with or go out with in the evening while us old fogies head off to bed. (Well, not at Kinloch, not much nightlife there other than wildlife!)

You might prefer hotels, motels, or serviced apartments, depending on your travel style. wotif is a good booking site to see what's available.

There are also some beautiful luxury lodges around the area, not that I've ever stayed at any of them! eg http://blanketbay.com/ Probably well worth the money if money is no object. And the cute bed and breakfast places in Arrowtown are certainly worth considering if you're travelling as a couple and don't require rowdy nightlife. Arrowtown is quiet in the evenings and has excellent restaurants.

Holiday homes are also worth looking at but I'm sure you wouldn't find anything at this late stage - they'd all be booked out through January except maybe the odd night between guests. There are a few sites if you want to look. eg bookabach.co.nz/baches-and-holiday-homes/sea…

Glenorchy I'm not sure, I haven't actually stayed there for many years.

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Kinloch Lodge
Kinloch Lodge
315 Reviews
Glenorchy, New Zealand
Queenstown
Queenstown
Otago Region, New Zealand
Lakefront Lodge
Lakefront Lodge
419 Reviews
Te Anau, New Zealand
Wanaka
Wanaka
Otago Region, New Zealand
Arrowtown
Arrowtown
Otago Region, New Zealand
Glenorchy
Glenorchy
Otago Region, New Zealand
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
845 posts
28 reviews
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5. Re: Day walks

Thanks for your great info Jean.....I will check out your suggestions.

We do tend to choose a mix of nice hostels( we usually book with BBH???) and B & B's...love being near the water.

Ballarat, Australia
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1,318 posts
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6. Re: Day walks

Lol, you can often see from the hostel's website if they're trying to attract the party crowd. We avoid places that advertise themselves like this: http://www.mazebackpackers.com/ :D

Sydney, Australia
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845 posts
28 reviews
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7. Re: Day walks

What a website---but definitely not for us!!!

Auckland Central...
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1,997 posts
115 reviews
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8. Re: Day walks

Glenorchy:

Lake Sylvan (1hr), Lake Rere (3hr), Return to Routeburn Falls (6hr),

Queenstown:

Moonlight (3 hr), Ben Lomond (5hr), Sam Summers (1hr)

Frankton:

Wye Creek (6hr)

Arrowtown:

Sawpit Gulley (1hr), Big Hill (2hr), Macetown (6hr)

Various lengths, range from an hour (Sawpit) to full day (Macetown)

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Glenorchy
Glenorchy
Otago Region, New Zealand
Queenstown
Queenstown
Otago Region, New Zealand
Lomond Lodge
Lomond Lodge
609 Reviews
Queenstown, New Zealand
Sydney, Australia
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845 posts
28 reviews
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9. Re: Day walks

Thanks so much for that info....really great. Can't wait to check them out.

Christchurch, New...
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870 posts
20 reviews
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10. Re: Day walks

Hi eating_eater,

For the tracks you listed for queenstown and arrowtown, are normal running/walking shoes good enough? Would love to try a track or two but I'm not sure if I can take it so I don't want to buy special shoes yet.

Thanks