Last Updated: 24th Mar 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Moonlighting around Bowen Peak

Queenstown, Otago

Submitted by André Chalmers

Last Updated: 24th Mar 2024

Beginner - Intermediate

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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 40 ?

Gnarl Factor: 54 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Urban fringe



Native bush

Plantation/exotic forest

Open farmlands

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Sealed Road

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +13.5%

Average Downhill Gradient: -10.6%


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Estimated Times to Run







One of the great runs based out of Queenstown which is great because it is medium length and in typical Queenstown fashion very mountainous! 

From the base of the Skyline Gondola, head left to the start of the Tiki Trail. This is a well marked trail to the top of the Gondola. From behind the top of the gondola, begin to follow the track for the Luge viewing. After crossing the first steel footbridge, turn left and follow the track to the edge of the forest. Here you will see a large DOC sign indicating the way to Ben Lomond. Follow this well formed trail to just below the saddle between Ben Lomond and Bowen Peak.

There is a signed junction here. Take the right hand fork to Arthur's Point. The track climbs a little, then heads over the saddle and down along a smooth trail. After approximately 2km's, you will reach a stile. Cross this, then follow the marked standards (warratahs) to the right. The track descends diagonally across the slope, and is marked all the way to a second stile. Keep looking for the standards, as there are many sheep paths that cross the main one!

After the second stile, the path carries on down through matagauri. Take care not to lose sight of the track markers at this point! The track leads to a gate, then onto a 4WD road. Head right along this road, and after a short descent, look out for the path on the right, marked Arthur's Point. Follow this track to the end. On joining the road, continue along it until you come to a junction. Turn right, and continue on down the road until you reach the main Queenstown to Arthur's Point road. Turn right here, and join the footpath which will lead you back to town.

Plenty of history in the area from the old mining days. Watch or listen for Keas and New Zealand Pipits along the way.

Lots of parking around the skyline building. A small amount of parking at the Lomond Crescent option or start from central Queenstown and simply make your way to the entry points.

1 km

2 minutes




Rated hard because as a first timer going by yourself it is very easy to get lost or go off track. So ideally go with someone who knows the route or follow the GPS data or use a Topo App. The main spots people can get into trouble are on the first section of uphill where there are numerous tracks/paths and mountain bike trails. Luckily lately lots of signage has been installed so be careful and read any you come across.
Second tricky area is around the farm area once you have gone down the nice clear single track from the saddle, at this point it is easy to go too high or go too low and join on to other trails. Stick to the markers. Then later on as you are on the Shotover River side there are many sheep and goat trails, one in particular leads you too low and you will have to rejoin the track by climbing back. If you think you have gone off the main trail simply stop or slow down and look around it is usually not too hard to get back.

Very patchy.

Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Short-sleeved thermal top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map

There is a water fountain at the Skyline complex and Midway clearing on the 4wd access road. There is also a couple of streams near the Arthurs Point side you can drink out of.

Can become difficult to near impossible in the depths of winter with the snow coverage. Gets very muddy in parts with rain. You can get exposed from the Ben Lomond saddle through to Arthurs Point so generally you wait for good weather for this one, but it can be done when colder, just take plenty of gear and food. It's close to town for sure but far enough away there's not many people around the back end.

Not much in the way of steep drop offs but there are a couple of points you will want to watch your balance. Snow conditions can make the higher sections dangerous though. When there's a metre of snow the track may become completely invisible.

Searchlight Brewery
Closest spot to stop after your mission, and typically great beer made on tap

Canyon Food and Brew Co.
1 Arthurs Point Rd, Arthurs Point 9371
Updated to modern tastes with beer good enough you might want to stop here before you finish your run!

Smiths Craft Beer House
53 Shotover St, Queenstown 9300
The locals favourite and why do they keep going back? The tastiest and largest variety of beers in town and in a town like Queenstown that means it's gonna be pretty good :)

Trail Legend


Kerry Bennett

has completed Moonlighting around Bowen Peak once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

An awesome longer run loop from town. Very fun around the back of Ben Lomond. Will be back for more of this one.

Brad Geen

December 29, 2022

Very fun trail. Pretty awesome views round the back once onto the moonlight trail.

Darren Robinson

May 13, 2022

Very nice loop with option to take the bus from Arthur’s Point at 18km. Very handy mountain run close to town.

Jan Ramp

April 21, 2022

Nice loop and awesome views over the back.

Mike McManaway

December 24, 2021

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