Get a detailed description of this Queenstown walk, and see photos and a video of walking around Bobs Cove up to a scenic lookout over Lake Wakatipu.
From Bob’s Cove you can walk all the way to the Twelve Mile Delta along a trail that skirts Lake Wakatipu.
There are several walks you can do at Bob’s Cove some of which include the Bob’s Cove Track, the Bob’s Cove Historic Bridle Trail, and the Twelve Mile Delta – Bob’s Cove Track
This article focuses on the Bobs Cove Track, which includes part of the Nature Trail around Bob’s Cove.
This track is also known as the Lime Kiln and Lookout walking track. You’ll see why in a sec…
How to get to Bobs Cove Scenic Reserve Queenstown
From Queenstown, drive in the direction of Glenorchy on the Glenorchy – Queenstown road.
After approximately 13 km (8 mi), slow down and start looking for a green and yellow Department of Conservation sign on the left side of the road with Bobs Cove Recreation Reserve displayed on it.
Once you’ve spotted the DOC sign, turn left into the parking lot. There isn’t much space to park, but there are small pullouts on the left side where you can park your car and not obstruct other visitors to Bob’s Cove.
Walking the Bobs Cove track near Queenstown
The parking lot is marked by a Department of Conservation sign, while the start of the walk is marked by a wooden fence and gate [Photo: Bob’s Cove Recreation Reserve DOC sign near Queenstown (101 KB)].
At the start of the walk, you immediately enter a forest of red and mountain beech trees. Further down the track you’ll go through dense stands of manuka [Photo: Forest at Bob’s Cove near Queenstown (126 KB)].
After passing an information panel, you’ll immediately reach to a junction where you can go either straight ahead or to the left. Take the left trail at the junction.
The trail descends moderately steeply towards the waters of Lake Wakatipu, and after about 2 to 3 minutes you’ll come up to another junction where you can go either to the right or left. Take the left trail again at this junction.
Make sure you look down as you walk on the path, not to miss the many information panels describing the types of trees in the forest [Photos: Info panel about manuka at Bob’s Cove near Queenstown (83 KB), Berries at Bob’s Cove near Queenstown (90 KB)].
You might hear several birds singing, especially the bellbird, tui, and wood pigeon. The walk continues through the forest and after a few minutes you’ll come up to a small boardwalk to cross a stream [Photo: Boardwalk across a stream at Bob’s Cove (97 KB)].
After this you’ll enter a clearing where you’ll be able to access the shore of Bob’s Cove. In autumn, the shore of Bob’s Cove is lined with yellow trees [Photo: Yellow autumn trees at Bob’s Cove near Queenstown (129 KB)].
Continue walking along the trail. You’ll soon come up to a lime kiln with two information panels explaining the history of the region [Photo: Lime kiln at Bob’s Cove near Queenstown (99 KB)].
After you pass the lime kiln, you’ll see a small clearing on your right where you can access an old jetty. Walk onto the jetty to see Bob’s Cove and take in the scenery of the mountains surrounding Lake Wakatipu.
Return to the trail and continue walking until you come up to a junction. At this junction you can go either left or right. Going right will take you around a peninsula to Picnic Point and going left will take you to the Twelve Mile Delta.
I suggest you go left at this junction, because a second junction will soon come up where you can go right up to a scenic lookout point.
In autumn, you might notice a few colorful mushrooms here and there along the path as you walk [Photo: Colorful mushrooms on the Bob’s Cove Track (96 KB)].
The trail becomes rocky at this point and it will climb steeply to the lookout, but the climb will not last long.
On your way up – if you look down and back – you’ll be able to enjoy the blue water of Bob’s Cove [Photo: Trail and blue water of Bob’s Cove (97 KB)].
Once you reach the lookout, you’ll be able to enjoy gorgeous views of Bob’s Cove, Lake Wakatipu, and the surrounding mountains. There is a small bench where you can sit if you’re tired.
It takes approximately 40 minutes from the start of the walk to reach the lookout [Photo: Aerial view of Bob’s Cove (88 KB) ].
Once you’re done enjoying the views and have rested enough, continue along the trail. It will take you down to Picnic Point and around the peninsula back to the junction I mentioned earlier.
Once you reach the junction, take the trail that goes to the left and retrace your steps back to the parking lot.
The Bob’s Cove Track is a very pleasant walk for those who enjoy walking in the forest, listening to birds, smelling the trees, learning a bit of history, and being rewarded with good views after a short walk uphill.
I suggest you do this walk on a sunny day – or at least a day with good weather – to be able to enjoy the views.
Basic info for the walk around Bobs Cove and back
|3 km (1.9 mi) return including the Picnic Point loop
|1 – 1.5 hours return
|Easy until you reach the Picnic Point loop, then hard to medium going up and around the peninsula
|A mixture of dirt, gravel, rocks, and roots
|Very good to average
|Best time to walk:
|Morning or afternoon depending on the views you want to see; afternoon for views of The Remarkables
|What you’ll see:
|Lake Wakatipu, The Remarkables, blue water of Bobs Cove, an old jetty, a historic lime kiln
You can see the location of parking for the Bob’s Cove Track on this Google map.
The trail you’ll have to follow approximately around Bob’s Cove and the peninsula out to Picnic Point is indicated with a red dashed line on this topographic map of the Bobs Cove track (139 KB) [This work is based on/includes LINZ’s data which are licensed by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) for re-use under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license].
Video of Bobs Cove track near Queenstown
This article falls under Day Walks.
Note: Walking tracks and trails can be changed or get closed. The information presented here was accurate when it was gathered.