A Day out at Wilson's Bay

Wilson's Bay is a majestic turquoise bay a short 10-minute drive from Queenstown, offering great views back to the Remarks and across to Walter Peak and beyond.  It's a beautiful place to avoid the summer madness of Queenstown central and soak up the classic Lake Wakatipu views in relative peace and quiet.  Be sure to take a towel or beach chair, your chilly bin and an excellent book to read.   

The stones on Wilson Bay beach may not be sand, but given the clarity of Lake Wakatipu's water, they're super clean and hold the sun's warmth in summer.   The waters of Lake Wakatipu are always cold, with a year-round temperature in the 11-13 degree Celsius range. You'd have to be brave to swim in winter, but it might just be what you're looking for on a warm summer day.

There are plenty of people who take their kayaks and/or stand-up paddleboards out in the bay because the shelter of the bay keeps the waters calm.  Cellure service will be low, so be prepared to be out of digital communication.

For your comfort,  there is a toilet next to the car park, but there are no shops nearby, so you'll need to bring your snacks or lunch with you.

Spinnaker Bay Apartments Wilsons Bay

From Wilson's Bay

There's plenty to do near Wilson Bay. You can go a couple of kilometres further along to the 12-mile Delta, where there's a LOTR filming location. From here, you can continue on the track to the stunning Bob's Cove or hike the interesting Mt. Crichton Loop Track. And just before reaching the other end of the Seven Mile Track, where you can walk or bike along at the eastern end of the beach, after which is the turnoff to Moke Lake, a great place to pitch a tent during summer!

Getting There

Driving: If you're looking for the most straightforward method to get to Wilson's bay, driving is the simplest way to go. It's just under 10km from Queenstown on the road to Glenorchy. It's an easy and scenic drive - just drive safely!

Hitchhiking: If you're feeling a little more adventurous, hitching a ride out of Queenstown is easy. Just stick your thumb out past the One Mile car park, and you should be on your way in no time.

Biking:  The cycle between Queenstown and Wilson's Bay is relatively easy and popular among both MTB and road cyclists.  There are several linked tracks which will keep you off the road, but be mindful of others on the tracks, including walkers and animals.  

Wilson Bay is a decent spot if you're already in Queenstown and want to spend a day at the beach. If you're on your way to Glenorchy, then it's absolutely worth the stop!

Spinnaker Bay Road to Glenorchy Wilsons Bay


Main Photo Credit:  Dreamstime