Last Updated: 26th Oct 2023


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Lake Hayes Circuit

Arrowtown, Otago

Submitted by Andre Chalmers

Last Updated: 26th Oct 2023


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 7 ?

Gnarl Factor: 14 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Urban fringe


Undulating, small hills only

Dog Friendly

Native bush

Plantation/exotic forest



Open farmlands

Open tussock/grasslands

Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +4.5%

Average Downhill Gradient: -4.5%


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Estimated Times to Run







This is one of the compulsory key runs in the Wakatipu basin. Simply follow the road/track around in a clockwise direction, plenty of dirt single track a few rocks and some boardwalk to negotiate. Make sure you look around as you run as there are some awesome views.

Look out for the many sights on the lake including swimmers, kayakers and rowers. Birdlife that can be seen on the lake includes the introduced mallard, feral goose, the native New Zealand scaup, Australasian crested grebe and the black shag.

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Ample parking all over the grass areas at the start

4 km

5 minutes




Stick near the lake and you can't go wrong. It is quite clear where to go but can become harder if you choose to do it at night time.

Generally good.

Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map

Generally speaking don't drink out of the lake. Take your own water or nothing since it is a short track. If you really get desperate just get some from the toilet at the carpark - the start and end of the loop.

Can be done all year during the night and day and in most weather. Can sometimes get tricky when the low areas flood. Also at nighttime in the winter the trail gets quite icy and hard so you may slip but the rest of the time perfect.

There are a few steep drop offs which are normally not a problem but if you choose to run at night make sure you take a torch your going to be running at max speed so we don't want slipping down the bank!

The Hayes
1 Onslow Road, Lake Hayes, Queenstown 9304
Great food/wine and beer at an affordable price and in a great setting.

Amisfield Vineyard and Winery
10 Lake Hayes Road, RD 1, Queenstown 9371
Top class wine, ask for 'trust the chef' on the menu. Really close to the lake.

Akarua Wines & Kitchen by Artisan
265 Arrowtown-Lake Hayes Road, Arrowtown 9371
Again awesome wine. Drop dead gorgeous rural setting. Really close to the lake.

Trail Legend


Luke hearn

has completed Lake Hayes Circuit 46 times in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

This trail gets called "flat" a lot -- for example, Queenstown Marathon (which takes part of this route) marketing itself as "flat out beautiful." It should be clarified that there are hills! Not major ones and not mountains, but still.

Sierra Alef-Defoe

October 4, 2023

Nice easy loop with some lovely views. Great to see the native planting taking place, especially the Kowhai Gold initiative.

Pip Guthrey

April 13, 2023

Lovely loop - great little blast after a long, hilly trail the day before.

Anne-Louise Robertson

December 15, 2022

Easy runnable loop around the lake, lots of places you can park off the loop and start. Can be quite busy with people walking their dogs in the evenings.

Zavana McAffer

May 23, 2022

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