New Zealand - Queenstown

Andreas Von der heide

Posted on July 01 2017

There’s no country which possesses such diverse, versatile and welcoming nature as New Zealand. From the cold plains in the south to the lovely beaches in the north, it offers every type of terrain possible. Specifically, the Queenstown Skyline route is renowned for its relatively short but intense track. The intensity comes from the altitude change and the terrific views which will leave you stunned. The track starts by the edge of Lake Wakatipu by Queenstown. The lake has an incredible azure blue colour from the melting glaciers running into and merging into the lake’s body. An interesting fact about the lake’s water is its 99.9% purity, making it the world’s second cleanest lake in the world. As a result of the water’s cleanliness and the merging running water from the glaciers, the temperature of the water is perfect and provides thus a refreshing pre-run drink.

After the start from Lake Wakatipu the race briefly goes through Queenstown before you’re met with Hammy’s Track, which is made of compacted soil and gravel. This sometimes feels like you’re running a bit more due to slipping back due to the steepness. Around 200 metres into the route and the track splits into two, where you need to decide whether to take the steeper, quicker route or the flatter, longer route on your left. You actually have the chance to try both tracks as there’s a walk-around that allows you to come down the other path on descent. Together, my girlfriend Pernille and I chose to take the longer route to our right. There awaited us a rise of 3-4 of the most beautiful kilometres with one hairpin bend after another and woods dense with foliage. In some places, the forest opens up and presents a view of the captivating lake and the many mountains projecting their presence in the background. These clearings in the forest are great places to stop, take a breather and enjoy the peace and majesty of nature.

After the 3-4 kilometres at 400 metres altitude, you think that you’ve seen everything there is with regards to the tour’s highlights. In fact, this was merely the beginning and we discovered that as soon as you’re at the top of Hammy’s Track, a mountain valley opens up in front of you and greets you with more picturesque scenery. Here you can relax and take a breather whilst enjoying the many who are bungee jumping from the top.

The return journey is a little easier despite being 5 kilometres. Most of the journey back involved going downhill and tracks which bend and loop round the mountain, where the inclinations aren’t too steep. This is where the fun begins as the downwards momentum makes your legs run effortlessly whilst enjoying the views all the way home.

We finished off down by Lake Wakatipu for a refreshing drink directly from the lake, which gave us a complete nature experience. If you’re crazy about nature and altitudes, Queenstown Skyline is definitely for you.

// Nick Nissen – Marketing Manager at Les Deux 

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