Moke Lake is a 20 minutes drive out of Queenstown towards Glenorchy. Heading off the main road up to the right, the initially sealed road becomes unsealed – but at the time of writing it was well graded. Travel through Ben Lomond Station, and a beautiful lake, huge DoC campground and picnic area awaits you at the end. Camping is $13pp per night and there are a couple of sets of decent toilets and a kitchen shelter.
The lake is beautifully clean and clear and is surrounded by mountains. The views are amazing. You can swim in the lake, try your hand at fishing, take a walk around the lake, or along the Moonlight Track to Arthur’s Point or up Ben Lomond.
I arrived mid afternoon in late January and the place was mostly empty! Is this Queenstown’s best kept secret??
Moke Lake Loop
I headed off around the lake in an anti clockwise direction. I left the campsite via the small boardwalk at 3.45pm.
The well maintained path gently elevated around the lake. I was at the turn off to Lake Dispute 20 mins approx 2Kms later.
The track to Lake Dispute was off to the to the right, and I followed the fence line around the Ben Lomond station property.
After 30 minutes (3Kms or so) I came to a 4 wheel drive track as the path headed right, through a small saddle.
I walked over the brow of the hill shortly afterwards, and got a great view of Lake Dispute.
The trail continued around 800m downhill to the lake itself.
It was pretty hot and I wanted to get back for a swim, so I didn’t walk all the way down to Lake Dispute. Instead I turned around and returned via the same path following the fence back to the Lake Moke turning.
Thirty five minutes later I was back at the bottom end of Lake Moke. The views across the lake were fantastic.
There was a wetland section of boardwalk before a gentle hill to the mid point which almost divides the lake in two. I wandered the extra 10 minutes to the very end, then headed back around to the other arm of the lake.
The last 1.5Kms or so were on the gravel road I’d driven in on. There was next to no traffic, so it was fine.
I got back to the van at around 6.10pm. it had taken about 2.5 hours to do the loop with the Lake Dispute add-on, which I’d guestimate to be around 13Kms.
I immediately went for a long refreshing swim. The lake was clear and warm.
Amazingly the entire area was free of sandflies (the only place in New Zealand that is sandfly free right now..??!!). For this reason alone it’s worth a visit! And while you’re there, spend a night or two and take in the views.