Australia & New Zealand

Queenstown, New Zealand

A Guide to the Best Places to Run in Queenstown


Located on the South Island of New Zealand, Queenstown has a spectacular setting, sitting on the shores of Wakatipu Lake and set against the beautiful Crown and Remarkable mountain ranges. As such, Queenstown is considered an ‘adventure capital’, and is one of the country’s most visited cities for both sports and relaxation.  Running in Queenstown offers excellent variety, from wonderful lakefront paths to green parks, vast valleys, hilly terrain, and pine forests. The area is also a mecca for trail running.

The signature running routes in Queenstown are lakefront trails to  Frankton, Sunshine Bay, and the Kelvin Peninsula. We also love the loop around Lake Hayes. For more of a challenge, get the heart rate going on Queenstown Hill, or the adventurous Jack’s Point Trail.

Queenstown has an excellent bus and ferry system, and most of our routes are accessible via public transport. Note the high season is December-March (summer).

Editor's Picks

Some of our favorite runs in Queenstown, New Zealand

Lake Hayes Loop

A very pretty, nearly 10k loop around the perimeter of one of New Zealand's most photographed lakes.... more...

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Queenstown has what is considered as an oceanic climate. Summer temperatures are warm but rarely hot, with average high temperatures in the 22C (72F) range. Note that even in summer nights are cool (10C, 50F), so always bring a layer!  In winter, days are in the 7-8C (high 40s) range, while nights typically dip below freezing. It can snow, but snow cover is rare. Precipitation is fairly frequent and fairly evenly spread throughout the year.

Frontrunner is the dedicated running store in Queenstown.

Several other stores sell running and trail running apparel in addition to other outdoor gear. See the overview map for information.

If you are visiting and wish to run with the locals check out Queenstown Trail Runners  Facebook page.

Consult Running Calendar New Zealand for a searchable database of all running-related events in NZ!

Queenstown International Marathon takes place in October each year and attracts approx. 10,000 runners. It incorporates 42km, 21km, 10km and 2.2km kids run options

Colour Burst is held year after year and is a 3-4km social run where participants are splashed in colours of the rainbow.

Shooter Moonlight and Mountain Marathon and Trail Run is held in February of each year and runners can experience running along sheep tracks, history gold mining and high country routes.

The Routeburn Classic is held in April and is an ‘adventure run’ over New Zealand’s world famous Routeburn Track. As it is limited to 350 lucky athletes you may wish to plan for this one in advance as it is  32 Kilometers long and climbs to 1127 meters above sea level.