Ben Lomond Scenic Reserve
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Ben Lomond
Ben Lomond
Queenstown is known as the adrenaline capital of New Zealand, and it is indeed populated by speed junkies and bungie pros and mountain bikers with death wishes. However, if you sidle up the mountain that cradles the town, past the gondola, around the dirt jumps on the biking course and just past the paragliding jump off point, you'll find a scenic path to the exquisitely serene summit of Ben Lomond. The trek is perfectly grueling, providing flat, flax-lined paths after each steep jaunt. On the way up, spectacular views of the Remarkables (the south island's famous mountain range), Moke lake, Lake Wakatipu, Cecil Peak, and other gorgeous geographic wonders that surround Queenstown. The round trip is 7-8 hours, and you can save an hour either way by taking the gondola up or down the bottom leg of the hike. This was my favorite thing to do to flee the hustle, bustle and grind of downtown Queenstown, a perfect one day retreat that leaves you feeling blissfully spent, and awfully hungry.
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