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Lake Hayes Trail

A short scenic ride

Part of the Queenstown Trail 'Great Ride' network, this is one of the most scenic short loops in the trail network and is very popular with walkers and cyclists. The lake is often very calm, producing incredible reflections of the mountain ranges that surround it. 

About this Trail

  • Getting there
  • Plan and prepare
  • Trail code
  • Guided options
  • Nature and history
  • FAQ's

Getting there

Parking is available at the Lake Hayes Pavilion on SH6, at the Lake Hayes Recreation Reserve, and Bendemeer Bay, on the Arrowtown-Lake Hayes Rd. The Lake Hayes Trail is a great additional scenic loop from the Countryside Trail, via Rutherford Rd or from the Twin Rivers Trail via Lake Hayes Estate. 

 

Plan and prepare

This site is loaded with maps, information and advice, Here’s how to get the most out of it:

1.       Choose your ride: You’ll be spoilt for choice – so many options, so many trails. a Find trail to suit your experience and timeframes.

2.       Plan your adventure: To find local places to eat, stay and discover, check out our Official Partners directory listings. You’ll find tour operators, transport providers, cafes, wineries and activities and so much more.

3.       Download a map or the Great Rides app

4.      Watch the Queenstown Trail video

For more information on how to stay safe on your trip go here 

Trail code

Here are a few important pointers to foster postive attitudes between different trail users and remember we are lucky that many local landowners have given us access to their private property.

  • Share the trail with care and use a bell
  • Keep to the left and pass on the right
  • Bikers give way to walkers
  • Stay in control so you can safely avoid other users and keep yourself safe
  • Be patient behind slower riders and pull over where practical to let faster riders pass
  • Keep to the trail, don’t trespass on private land
  • Horses are generally not permitted on the Queenstown Trail, except for approved shared-use sections
  • Dogs to be on a leash at all times
  • Light no fires
  • Report all hazards
  • Keep streams and lakes clean
  • Bury toilet waste
  • Take your rubbish home with you
  • Protect plants and animals

 

Guided options

Many of our Trusted Partners offer guided tours and shuttles to and from the start and end points of the trails - allowing you to ultimately tailor your trail experience and pick up tons of local knowledge and discover secret spots along the way!

Click here to see our Directory of Tour Operators.

Nature and history

Lake Hayes is home to a healthy population of Australasian crested grebe.

The local Māori iwi (tribe) of Kai Tahu originally named the lake Te Whaka-ata a Haki-te-kura after an ancestress called Haki-te-kura whose image was said to be reflected in the lake.

Settlers originally knew the lake as Hays Lake after D. Hay, an Australian who came to the district looking for sheep country in 1859. Its name gradually changed to Lake Hayes, as its discovery was credited erroneously to Captain "Bully" Hayes, an early local character of the district.

FAQ's

Go to the Frequently Asked Questions page to find answers to any questions you may have before you head out onto the trail.

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