The Queenstown Dream - Page 4
- Queenstown Hill. Kiwis refer to Queenstown Hill as the "Mountain of Intense Sacredness." The trail offers seven miles roundtrip (up and down with a loop at the top) and 1500 vertical feet of gain. The dense pine forest at the trailhead quickly gives way to a bald summit rewarding runners with 360-degree panoramic views of the Remarkables mountain range, Cecil Peak, the Frankton, Ben Lomond, South Arms and Queenstown Bay. The trail varies from crushed gravel to hard-packed dirt, and from smooth doubletrack to rutty singletrack.
- Queenstown Gardens, Frankton Arm Walkway, Sunshine Bay Walk. From the center of town, at the mouth of Queenstown Bay on Lake Wakatipu, run left (east) along crushed gravel doubletrack through Queenstown Gardens and along the Frankton Arm Walkway. At the center of town, run to the right (west) and follow Wakatipu's shoreline en route to the well-maintained, rolling singletrack woodland trail of Sunshine Bay.
- Ben Lomond and Moonlight tracks. Expect strenuous climbs and stunning views. At the north end of town, at the gondola base, zigzag up the Ti Ki Trail on rich, black-soiled singletrack through dense pine forest and make your way to the Skyline Gondola facilities. The first of many jaw-dropping photo opportunities begins here. Continue upward along Ben Lomond Track to the summit 4.5 miles from town with over 4700 feet of vertical gain. Descend the steep and loose rock-infested pitch from Ben Lamond and continue north along Moonlight Track, a grassy, meandering, mountainside traverse. The Moonlight Track seemingly travels forever into the horizon until finally reaching the Shotover River and ending at the small hamlet of Arthur's Point, home of the Shotover Jet boat ride company, whose business it is to convey fearless, thrill seekers through the dramatic and narrow river canyon walls at high speeds. Pay particular attention to the pink ribbon markings on Moonlight as intersecting goat paths can lure you off route.
- Routeburn Track. This 20-mile point-to-point trail, is often technical and steep, and traverses wild mountain country, presenting numerous waterfalls and a high-elevation lake, through Mount Aspiring and Fiordland national parks. To find the Routeburn, depart Queenstown and travel west on Glenorchy-Queenstown Road, pass through the town of Glenorchy, in Paradise Valley, go over the Dart River and you will soon enter Mount Aspiring National Park, home to Routeburn Track's western trailhead. Allow for approximately 75 minutes travel time.
Motatapu Adventure Run, mid-March, 30 miles, marathon, 15K. Backcountry terrain with a few exits into civilization through the historic towns of Macetown and Arrowtown. www.iconicadventures.co.nz/motatapu-home
The Routeburn Classic, end of April, 20 miles. See "Routeburn Track" above. www.goodtimesevents.net
The Kepler, December 3, 37 miles. Steep and technical trail race over another one of New Zealand's famous nine "Great Walks," The Kepler Track. www.keplerchallenge.co.nz