8km loop trail
Intermediate (Grade 3)
The trail around Lake Hayes offers exquisite mountain and lake vistas, a boardwalk protecting local wildlife, historic cottages and a close-up view of some of the area’s most notable homes.
Starting at the Rutherford Road end of the trail, there's a gradual climb to an elevated bench high above the lake where the trail meanders along the contours of the hill before dropping down to the southern boardwalk section of trail. Be sure to look out for wild gooseberrys and other fruit trees along the way. Then cruising around past the Wakatipu Rowing Club (you'll find a new toilet block here) onto Bendemeer Bay and the Lake Hayes Reserve - the perfect picnic spot and more toilets.
The trail can be narrow in sections with steep drop offs down to the lake. However its not a technical trail and is the perfect place for beginners to hone their skills, or for the more experienced riders looking for a great circuit.
If you'd like to take a plunge, Lake Hayes is a popular swimming spot during the summer months as it's significantly warmer than the other lakes in the district.
Lake Hayes is at the very ‘heart’ of Queenstown’s 130km trails – the jewel in the crown, it is easily accessible from the Countryside and Twin Rivers Trails. So while it’s an enjoyable short ride in itself (under an hour), many like to make a day of it and incorporate the Lake Hayes Trail into rides from Gibbston, Arrrowtown and Queenstown. Alternatively its just a 5 minute drive from Arrowtown or a 20 minute drive from Queenstown.