Facts About Ben Lomond New Zealand
- Ben Lomond is a mountain in Otago on the outskirts of Queenstown. It was named after the Ben Lomond mountain in Scotland.
- Te-taumata-o-Hakitekura is the Maori name for the mountain.
- Ben Lomond at its highest is 1,748 metres (5,735 ft).
Finding the Ben Lomond Track
There are several different places you can access the track from town.
- Walk along the Lakefront Esplanade and join the Ben Lomond Track from the roundabout
- Head up Brecon Street to Skyline Queenstown, then take Hammy’s Track until you meet up with the Ben Lomond Track
- Join Hammy’s Track a bit further along by going along Thompson Street, and round Lomond Crescent
When walking the track you may decide to walk only as far as the Saddle (that’s where the blue dotted line in the picture above curves to the left). From here to the summit the track is very steep and not recommended for children under 10 or adults who may not be as fit as others!
Whenever you plan to go hiking there are several things you should always be prepared for.
- Make sure you’re wearing appropriate footwear
- Check the weather forecast before heading out and ensure you have the correct clothing – even if it’s a glorious day take a lightweight sweater and a mac in case it starts getting chilly or windy.
- Take water with you
- Take sunscreen with you on a clear day (even in winter the sun could still burn you)
- Take some food with you, even if it’s just some energy bars. You’ll thank me later!
- Set off early enough – give yourself enough time to complete the hike before it gets dark!
Walking the Ben Lomond Track
Ever since I arrived here in Queenstown I’ve been hearing people talk about how beautiful the Ben Lomond hiking track is. So I finally decided to do it myself yesterday and since I’m doing the Milford Track in a few weeks I thought it would be a good way to see if I’m going to be alright on the Milford Track.
At first I was going to get out early in the morning (8AM) but as my roommate had a really good time that night I decided to get a little bit more sleep, so I got out at 9:30, ate some breakfast, filled up my water bottle took my camera (forgot sunscreen) and took off.
After walking up the Gondola hill I was already quite exhausted, so I took a 5 minute break to enjoy the stunning views of Queenstown. Then I walked over to the start of the Ben Lomond track, after about 5 minutes I started to feel the sun burning on my skin, so after I had asked a few people if they had any sunscreen a man gave me some.
Reaching the Summit
Fully prepared I started the steep climb to the Ben Lomond summit (1748 metres high). I thought it would be an easy climb but after 15 minutes I found myself take more and longer breaks than actually walking. At about 1:30 I reached the summit and it was absolutely stunning. There are all different kinds of views and you can see for miles and miles.
As I mentioned, I thought I was fully prepared, but it turns out I just forgot to take some snacks with me. At the summit I could hear my belly rumbling. I wanted to eat something really bad, so I rushed down the mountain, I even ran for a few hundred metres (now I know that my shoes are not made for running). After an hour I was back at the top of the gondola, walked down into Queenstown and stopped at the convenience store next door to Nomads Queenstown to buy some cookies, I was dead after this hike but the views from the top of the mountain were worth doing it.
There are plenty of other walking tracks in Queenstown, all of which offer spectacular scenery, if you think this hike might be too much for you.