This post will show you a scenic Queenstown walk in photos. Queenstown, New Zealand is a stunning city on the north shore of Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by mountains.
We took a short walk along the Lake Wakatipu shoreline. It was a clea, sunny autumn day – it can’t get better that this!
In New Zealand the air is super clean, which makes nature colours shine a lot stronger than elsewhere. Probably at all times of the year, but at least in autumn.
So maybe autumn is the best season to visit when the skies are clear and the sun strong. In autumn New Zealand colours really look magic!
Queenstown: walking along Lake Wakatipu
We went to Queenstown after Easter. It was April, the perfect time for New Zealand autumn foliage. In the mountains it’s getting cool and night temperatures can sink below zero.
Queenstown was one of the destinations of our New Zealand South Island road trip. This is post number 6 on our road trip and you will find the other posts on the road trip main page: New Zealand South Island Road Trip in 11 Days
Queenstown Walk in Photos: the Map
Our Queenstown walking itinerary on the map
The map shows Central Queenstown. We parked our vehicle west of the city centre, on Lake Esplanade that also is the road to Glenorchy. Glenorchy s a major tourist destination at the north end of the lake Wakatipu.
Briefly about the walk: we walked along the lakeside to the city centre and on along the city’s pebble beach to Queenstown Gardens on the peninsula.
The map says that the walk is less than 2 km one way, but in fact we walked all the way around the pretty Queenstown Gardens peninsula and all the way back to where we had parked. That way we ended up in approximately 5 km.
The photos will show you what the amazing city of Queenstown looks like in autumn.
Our Queenstown walk in photos, starting from The Lake Esplanade:
Lake Esplanade and Saint Omer Park
As we were traveling with a huge four-person campervan, it turned out to be too hard to find any parking in the city centre. Never mind, with a campervan you mostly have to leave the city centre and look for parking elsewhere. A good place to park was the tree-lined Lake Esplanade.
There was a pretty lakeshore park where all trees already had turned yellow. So peaceful and quiet, and this should be one of New Zealand’s biggest tourist hubs!
To avoid the crowds, autumn is the perfect time to travel. At this time of the year there was hardly anybody around anywhere. The park we went to is Saint Omer Park:
Even when it looked warm with all the sunshine the weather was super cold. We were freezing and had to take the warmest clothes we had to keep warm. But walking helps, you don’t freeze that much when you moving.
And then the views – they made us forget all about the cold weather!
Lake Wakatipu in Photos
Lake Wakatipu is like a fjord. A long, winding, narrow lake between high alps. The lake collects all melting water from the mountains, which is why it has an unusual blue colour.
Here you can see Queenstown Gardens (where the green trees are) on the other side of the bay – and mountains with skiing slopes beyond the gardens:
Then the next photo shows you central Queenstown seen from the same place. You can clearly see how the city climbs up the mountain.
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 to walk, yet all the way uphill.
Lake Wakatipu Water Sports
With increased tourism to New Zealand, Queenstown has grown a lot. Today it’s the main center of adventure and sports in the whole country. The main reason for tourists to come to Queenstown are outdoor activities, mainly based on water.
You can take a jet boat trip or raft in a river, bungy jump from bridges into gorges or take a lake Wakatipu cruise. The main land activities are walking and skiing in winter time.
You can book all activities in the tourist office in the harbour or directly from tour organizers. In autumn there was only a handful of tourists but still lots of companies offering 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 also use the lake without more arrangements than that.
If you are more for the slow-moving activities, a Wakatipu lake cruise might be your thing:
Lake Wakatipu Cruises
Cruising on Lake Wakatipu steamships is a popular way to get to see the lake. Lake Wakatipu is very scenic and almost looks like Milford Sound, yet being much closer!
Even in 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
Above 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 we had been travelling through for days. In those regions hardly any shops exist. Do you really need all these things…
This time of the year there was no hassle, no crowds in Queenstown, only shopkeepers waiting for their first customers of the day.
I don’t really mind souvenir shops and fast food restaurants. Everything in Queenstown looks so pretty: the streets, the shops and all buildings – and, above all, the scenery.
These are the main streets outside the walking zone. In this windy place the yellow leaves had already blown away:
Queenstown Walk: The Beach
Then, almost in the city center we found a pretty pebble beach. On a pebble beach the water looks even more crystal clear:
Below you can see the sunrise – at noon. The mountains all around Queenstown make the sun hit the beach first at noon!
In New Zealand the sun shines from the north, for me as a European a bit hard to understand.
The empty beach was an ideal place to sit down and take it easy, and we took a takeaway meal to have it here. All Queenstown restaurants were so dark inside and still in the shade from the sun, so lunch on a pebble beach was our thing today.
So we did like Queenstown locals, we sat on the beach on an ice-cold day, at a time when the night temperature was below zero, each night…
If you don’t like having your lunch on the beach, there are other options though. This small pavillion behind the beach playground might also be a good idea. At least it’s a very pretty place!
The beach leads to a public park, the Queenstown Gardens:
The Queenstown Gardens are on a small peninsula. They make a forested park with good walking paths leading through it and around the peninsula.
Again I had to sit down and just watch. I so much loved these views and also this white and brown sailing-boat in the Queenstown bay.
The Queenstown Gardens also have some big sporting greens and a rose garden. But these frisbee golf players don’t want to play on any lawns but rather in the forest.
Views from the gardens were fantastic in all directions, to the city and to the Lake Wakatipu side as well. The lake side is more open and you can well see the next peninsula Kelvin Heights. And many snow-capped mountains.
So this was our short Queenstown walk and a photos from the walk.
Then it was time to get back to our campervan and continue our road trip through New Zealand. Yet the next thing to was taking a couple of short trips out from Queenstown, to Arrowtown and along Lake Wakatipu shores.
You can read about our day trips from Queenstown in the post Queenstown Day Trips by Car: Arrowtown & Wakatipu.
And for more information on Queenstown and the activities offered, check out 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: