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Views A Plenty! - November 2015
Another of my images and words making it to Wilderness Magazine. This time a double page spread for the Waypoints section. You can see the image and read the full text below or pick up a copy at your local look store. Happy times!
Situated in the heart of Queenstown the Ben Lomond Scenic Reserve offers a vast array of walks and views to tantalise any hiker’s appetite. The pinnacle of the reserve is walking to the peak of Ben Lomond (1748m) itself, which offers 360-degree views over the surrounding area and mountains. However, en-route there are a number of stunning vistas that provide that same feeling of being isolated, high in the mountains requiring only half the time and effort.
Only a few minutes walk from downtown Queenstown the Tiki Trail climbs upwards towards the Skyline Gondola through a mixture of wilding pines and beech forest. Walking past the Skyline Gondola, Luge and paragliding take-off via the concrete paths a 4wd track leads you through more wilding pines eventually giving way to scrubby alpine tops. Here the trail becomes less distinct and a little muddy. A bit of scrambling and careful route finding is required until rocky schist outcrops become visible. It is here that you should stop, turn around and admire the views, which are pure inspiration and plentiful!
Continuing upwards and following the ‘goat track’ leads you to the summit of Ben Lomond or if you are content with the views at this point descend via the same route you walked up. Either way you will have earned some of the best views that Lake Wakatipu has to offer!
Access: Via the Tiki Trail at the bottom of the Skyline Gondola in Queenstown.
Grade: Moderate Map: Topo 50 CC11
Time: Ben Lomond peak 6-8 hours return, view point en-route to Ben Lomond peak 3-4 hours return.