Moonlighting around Bowen PeakBeginner - Intermediate
Submitted by André Chalmers
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Native bushPlantation/exotic forestOpen farmlandsOpen tussock/grasslandsOpen ridges/tops
Beginner - Intermediate
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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.
Features of interest
Plenty of history in the area from the old mining days. Watch or listen for Keas and New Zealand Pipits along the way.
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 10%
Technical Single Track: 30%
Moderate Single Track: 30%
Easy Single Track: 10%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 10%
Sealed Road: 10%
The following trails overlap with this run to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate Strava activity for each
Start point should be in Queenstown, we'll be slightly flexible on this one as you can choose between the easier Skyline 4wd access road or the steep Tiki trail next to the Skyline building a short run will get you to either of these, they both link up at the same point. For the 4wd access go to Lomond Crescent there is signage that leads you on to the track. The standard route we will consider the Tiki Trail, which is just to the left of the base skyline building on Brecon Street. We consider this standard because you are a wild thing and want to push the limit, and since the top section of tiki trail went in it's is much more interesting than the road option.
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.
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.
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.
Post run indulgence
12 INDUSTRIAL PLACE, Queenstown
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 :)
Sponsor this trail
See other runs nearby:
Ben Lomond from One Mile
Mt. Crichton Loop
The Queens Drive and Wye Dome.
Mt Dewar Devil Creek Loop
Jacks Point to Queenstown Trail
One Mile - Gondola Scenic Route
Moonlighting to Sefferstown
Remarkables and Wye Creek
Queenstown Hill (Te Tapu-nui)
Moke Lake from Mt.Crichton
Frankton to Morven Hill Return
Mount Aurum - Skippers
Around Ben Lomond
The Felic Relic
The Harcombe Round
Ben Lomond via Tiki Trail
Lake Johnston Ferry Hill Loop
Loopin' Moke Lake