Lake Hayes Walkway, Arrowtown area NZ

The Lake Hayes Walkway is an easy 8km walk around Lake Hayes, near Arrowtown, passing through a variety of vegetation on a well formed track.

Lake Hayes Walkway, Arrowtown area

Despite numerous holidays in Queenstown over the years we had never done this short and pleasant walk around Lake Hayes: the Lake Hayes Walkway. There are more interesting tracks to do first I guess, but this was a good option to stretch our legs after lunch in Arrowtown one day when we needed to recover from other longer tramps. There’s a bit of variety, with small wetlands and a number of wetland birds in residence, as well as small stands of trees, some native scrub and exotic plants/trees.

I imagine it would look nicer in other seasons – probably autumn and winter would be the pick. And they were planting natives along the banks in various spots in summer 2020/21, so the walk will only improve over time. Track notes at the end.

Lake Hayes Walkway: The Scenery

Lake Hayes Walkway, Arrowtown area
The Remarkables dominate the skyline for a while, but are much less remarkable from this angle than viewed from Queenstown.
Lake Hayes Walkway, Arrowtown area
We briefly dropped down to the lake at the north-western corner.
Lake Hayes Walkway, Arrowtown area
Looking back (north) as we walked south along the western side of the lake.
Lake Hayes Walkway, Arrowtown area
Walking under some bluffs.
Lake Hayes Walkway, Arrowtown area
Looking down to the southern end of the lake.
Lake Hayes Walkway, Arrowtown area
Wetlands at the southern end of the lake.
Lake Hayes Walkway, Arrowtown area
Wetlands at the southern end of the lake. There were some wetland birds hanging around, but with only my phone I couldn’t get any photos of these.
Lake Hayes Walkway, Arrowtown area
Looking south towards Peninsula Heights, Cecil and Waler Peaks.
Lake Hayes Walkway, Arrowtown area
Cecil Peak at the back, Walter Peak to the right, and Peninsula Hill centre.
Lake Hayes Walkway, Arrowtown area
Looking north along the eastern shore. The path was mostly along the lake’s edge on this side, which was nice, but also quite close to the main road.
Lake Hayes Walkway, Arrowtown area
Native Flax / harakeke
Lake Hayes Walkway, Arrowtown area
Brow Peak on the right, and Coronet Peak on the left. We walked the ridge between these two on Christmas Day.


Track Notes

Lake Hayes Walkway, Arrowtown area
We parked near the toilets at the northern end and walked anti-clockwise as indicated by the black arrow. It’s a well formed track the whole way, so you don’t need your hiking boots particularly.

You can park your car and start the walk at a few different points. We started at the northern end and walked anti-clockwise. It’s a well formed track the whole way, as you can see on a number of the photos. It’s an 8km loop and the DOC estimate 2-3 hours. It would also make a good run or bike ride. More information on the DOC website.

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

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