A steady climb through native forest to the summit of volcanic Mount Manaia rewards you with breath-taking views of Taurikura Bay, Hen and Chickens Islands, Bream Head and the harbour entrance.
This mountain, which has extraordinary rock formations, is important to local Maori. There’s a legend about how the five rock columns at the summit of the mountain are people who were turned to stone by the God of Thunder.
As you hike up the mountain on a track that was recently upgraded, you’ll come across large stands of tree ferns (ponga) and dramatic rocky outcrops. The panorama from the top of the mountain is truly awe-inspiring.
Easy to moderate
There’s so much to see and do in Queenstown - it’s exciting, sophisticated and fantastically scenic. But it’s not all about bungy jumps and jet boat rides; there’s also a quieter, more relaxed side to this alpine resort. You could, for example, take a leisurely tour of the local wine region or visit Arrowtown.
Once a gold rush settlement, Arrowtown is one of the most charming historic towns in New Zealand and a great place to find out about Otago’s past. Explore the Chinese miners’ settlement by the Arrow River, visit the Lakes District Museum, then find a convivial café to soak up the surroundings.