This post will show you a Queenstown walk in photos. Queenstown, New Zealand has a stunning location on the north shore of Lake Wakatipu, backed by the mountains.
We took a short walk along the Queenstown shore on a clear autumn day and you can’t believe how beautiful day it was – look at the photos!
New Zealand air is so clear that it makes all colours shine more than elsewhere and probably all times of the year. And many people say autumn is the best season to visit: the skies are clear and the sun strong, and all colours really look magic!
Queenstown walk in photos
We went to Queenstown after Easter. It was April which is the perfect time for southern hemisphere autumn colours. Autumn air in mountain areas is cool and fresh, even cold so you need to be well prepared.
Queenstown was one of the destinations (this is post number 6) of our New Zealand South Island road trip. You can find my other South Island posts on our road trip’s main page: New Zealand South Island Road Trip in 11 Days
Queenstown Walk in Photos: the Map
The maps shows Central Queenstown. We parked west of the centre, on Lake Esplanade that is the road to Glenorchy. Glenorchy s a favourite tourist destination at the north end of the lake.
Our short Queenstown walk: we walked along the lakeside to the city centre and on along the pretty, shady pebble beach to Queenstown Gardens south of the city.
The map says the walk is less than 2 km one way but since we in addition walked all the way around the Queenstown Gardens peninsula and back to where we had parked we ended up in approximately 5 km.
My photos will show you how pretty Queenstown is in autumn.
Queenstown walk in photos, starting from Lake Esplanade:
Lake Esplanade and Saint Omer Park
As we were traveling with a huge four-person campervan it was too hard to find parking in the city centre. But we didn’t care and left the city centre and parked in a tree-lined street, Lake Esplanade.
There was a pretty lakeshore park where all trees already had turned yellow. Peaceful and quiet, and this is one of New Zealand’s big tourist hubs!
Autumn is the perfect time to travel if you want to avoid the crowds. At this time of the year there was hardly anybody around in the park. The park is called Saint Omer Park:
Despite the strong sunshine the weather really cold, just freezing and we had to take on our warmest clothes to keep warm enough. But you don’t freeze that much when you walk. And the views – they made us forget how cold it was!
Lake Wakatipu Photos
Lake Wakatipu is a long, winding and narrow lake surrounded by high mountains. It collects the melting water which is the reason why the water has an unusual strong blue colour.
Here you can see Queenstown Gardens (where the trees are) on the other side of the bay – and mountains with skiing slopes beyond the gardens:
And the next photo shows you central Queenstown seen from the same place. You can see the city climb up the mountain slopes.
From this place, Saint Omer Park, you can walk to the gondola that takes you to a high mountain top. It’s not a long distance but it’s uphill.
Lake Wakatipu Water Sports
As visitor numbers increase Queenstown has grown a lot lately. Today Queenstown is the main center of adventure and sports in New Zealand. And the main reason for tourists to come to Queenstown are all the outdoor activities that are mainly based on water.
You can take a jet boat trip or raft in a river, bungy jump from a bridge into a gorge or take a lake Wakatipu cruise. The main land activities are walking and in the winter skiing.
You can book all activities in the tourist office in the harbour or directly from tour organizers. In autumn there was just a handful of tourists but yet still lots of companies offering water-based activities on Lake Wakatipu and in gorges.
Or why not just rent water equipment? Either fast like water scooters or slow like pedal boats. You can use the lake without more arrangements.
If you are more for the slow-moving activities a lake cruise might be your thing:
Lake Wakatipu Cruises
Cruising on Lake Wakatipu steamships is a popular way to enjoy the lake. Lake Wakatipu is very scenic and almost looks like Milford Sound, yet it’s much closer!
Even when it was autumn there were cruise departures almost every hour.
If you are interested in taking Queenstown water activities read more about them here: Lake Wakatipu cruises and other lake and river activities
A lake steamer in full speed. It must be cold on the upper deck on an autumn day like this…
Queenstown City Center
As Queenstown is a tourist hub you can find everything you can imagine a tourist needs, easily and in different colors. It’s a huge difference to the rural areas with hardly any shops we had been travelling through for days. Do you really need all these things…
But was no hassle, no crowds on our Queenstown walk. The shopkeepers were waiting for their first customer of the day.
I don’t really mind souvenir shops and fast food restaurants. All in Queenstown looks so pretty: the streets, the shops and all buildings – and not least the scenery.
These are the main streets outside the walking zone. Here the yellow leaves had already blown away…
Then, almost in the center of the city we found a pretty beach. It’s a pebble beach which made the water look even more crystal clear:
Below you can see the sunrise – at noon. The mountains all around Queenstown make the sun first hit the beach at noon!
In New Zealand the sun shines from the north at noon which for me as a European is hard to remember.
The beach was an ideal place to sit down and relax and we took a takeaway meal. All restaurants were so dark and still in the shade that lunch on a pebble beach was more like our thing.
So we did like Queenstown locals, we sat on the beach on an ice-cold day, at a time when every night the temperature was below zero…
If you don’t like having your lunch on the beach there are other options though. This small cafe behind the beach playground is another good idea. So pretty!
The beach leads to a public park, Queenstown Gardens:
Queenstown Gardens is on a small peninsula. The gardens make a forested park and there are good walking paths through it and around the peninsula.
Again I had to sit down and just look. I loved these views and I also liked this white and brown sailing-boat in Queenstown bay.
Queenstown Gardens also have some big sporting greens and a rose garden. But these frisbee golf players don’t want to play on the lawns, they prefer playing in the forest.
Views from Queenstown Gardens were great in all directions, to the Lake Wakatipu side as well. The lake side is more open and you can see the next peninsula Kelvin Heights and snow-capped mountains.
So this was my Queenstown walk photo gallery. It was just a short hike but took a lot of time, almost half a day…
Time to get back to our campervan and continue our road trip through New Zealand. The next thing to do is to make a couple of short trips from Queenstown, to Arrowtown and along Lake Wakatipu shores.
You can read about our day trips from Queenstown in my post Queenstown Day Trips by Car.
And for more informaion on Queenstown this is the official website of Queenstown New Zealand.
More on New Zealand Travel
This was post number 6 on our New Zealand South Island road trip. You will find the whole itinerary and all other posts on this main page: