Lake Dispute Track near Queenstown

Get a full description, photos, and a video of the Lake Dispute Walkway near Queenstown, which takes you up to a high-country lake.

The Lake Dispute Walkway between Queenstown and Glenorchy is a 1.4 km (0.9 mi) walk up to a high-country lake.

The Lake Dispute Track is located closer to Queenstown than it is to Glenorchy.

This Queenstown walk offers scenic views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables, and crosses private farmland.

Once you reach Lake Dispute, you have the option to do the Mt. Crichton Loop Track or walk to Moke Lake.

Lake Dispute is a high-country lake that is surrounded by lush green hills in a very relaxing environment.

How to get to the Lake Dispute Walkway

From Queenstown, drive in the direction of Glenorchy on the Glenorchy – Queenstown road.

After passing Wilsons Bay on your left, drive for another 1.5 km (0.9 mi) until you see a fairly large pullout on the left side of the road and a Department of Conservation (DOC) sign further down the road on the right side of the road.

Park your car in the pullout, watch for traffic, cross the road, and walk to the beginning of the Lake Dispute Track, which begins at the DOC sign and goes up a gravel road.

Walking the Lake Dispute track near Queenstown

The starting point of the Lake Dispute Track, also known as the Lake Dispute Walkway, is located on the Glenorchy – Queenstown road not too far outside of Queenstown, New Zealand.

There is a pullout where you can park your car on the left side of the road just before you reach the track that leads up to Lake Dispute.

The walk starts out very steep. The Lake Dispute Track is steeper than the Mount Roy Track in Wanaka, but the steepness does not last as long as it does on the Mount Roy Track.

The loose rocks – and sometimes deep grooves – on the Lake Dispute Track add to the difficulty of hiking this trail, especially on the descent when your footing can get very tricky.

This first steep part of the Lake Dispute Track also offers scenic views of mountains surrounding Lake Wakatipu and of Lake Wakatipu itself.

And on clear days you can see all the way to the Remarkables in Queenstown.

[Photo: The peaks of the Remarkables as seen from the Lake Dispute Track (93 KB)]

You’ll have to open and close two gates and cross three stiles before you reach Lake Dispute.

You should reach the first gate after approximately 15 minutes of climbing up the Lake Dispute Track.

The Lake Dispute Track levels off for a while and after a couple of minutes more of walking, you’ll come up to a second DOC sign, which indicates a walking time of 30 minutes to Lake Dispute and 15 minutes to Glenorchy Road.

[Photo: Second Department of Conservation (DOC) sign on the Lake Dispute Track (69 KB)]

After passing the DOC sign, the track climbs moderately steep up to the first stile.

[Photo: First stile on the Lake Dispute Track (114 KB)]

After crossing the first stile, the Lake Dispute Track becomes flat, grassy, and narrow.

It is in this part that you’ll notice bike tracks of mountain bikers who also tend to do recreational activities in the Lake Dispute / Moke Lake area.

[Photo: Narrow bike trail on the Lake Dispute Track (101 KB)]

After crossing the first stile, you’ll come up to a second gate. Here you’ll notice the most that you’re on farmland with the distant bleat of sheep and all of the green hillsides.

After passing the second gate, you’ll come up to a second stile, which will get you onto a road that leads to the northern end of Lake Dispute, a saddle, and a trail to Moke Lake.

[Photo: The road that leads to Moke Lake and a Department of Conservation (DOC) sign (108 KB)]

However, you’ll also see another DOC sign for the Mt. Crichton Loop Track. If you follow the trail next to this sign, you’ll descend toward the southern end of Lake Dispute.

[Photo: Mt. Crichton Loop Track Department of Conservation (DOC) sign on Lake Dispute Track (114 KB)]

And after crossing a third stile, you’ll arrive at the same location where footage of Lake Dispute in the video below was recorded.

Basic info for the Lake Dispute Track near Queentown

Trail length:1.4 km (0.9 mi)
Walking time:40 minutes
Trail type:Gravel roads mixed with well-formed tracks; well signposted.
Trail condition:Average. The Lake Dispute Track is steep and rocky in the first section with ruts here and there. Then it becomes grassy when it levels off.
Fitness level:Moderate to high
Best time to walk:Anytime
What you’ll see:Lake Dispute, Lake Wakatipu, mountains

The trail you’ll have to follow approximately to get to Lake Dispute is indicated with a red dashed line on this topographic map of the Lake Dispute Track (186 KB) [This work is based on/includes LINZ’s data which is licensed by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) for re-use under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license].

Video of the Lake Dispute walk near Queenstown

This 2-minute video gives you an impression of what to expect on this scenic and peaceful hike up to Lake Dispute 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.

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