If you have ever planned a road trip with your dog, the biggest planning seems to go towards finding places to spend the night, whether that be camping spots, local BnBs or hotels. Once that is done, you then start to look at walks in the areas you are going. This step is usually skipped by me, and then I end up at my location trying to find cool walks while I am there. Along with the recommendation of Becki, that is how I stumbled upon this walk in Queenstown.
In Queenstown, we camped at the DOC campsite based on 12 Mile Delta. This was an awesome spot, right on Lake Wakaitpu with a lot of spots for both campervans, cars and tents. They also allow dogs for a small additional charge per night as long as they remain on-leash. This campsite if you are interested was beautiful, cheap (for Queenstown) and was in easy access of everything in the area. It does fill up fairly early in the evening, and probably more so in Summer so you will want to park up by late afternoon/early evening. Directly from this campsite you can access the Bob's Cove to Twelve Mile Delta walk.
This walk states it is 2 - 4 hours, but honestly I don't remember it being anywhere near that time frame. More like two hours with lots of stops, and sightseeing completed. It is a super easy walk which has some rolling hills involved, but is mainly pretty flat along the side of the Lake Wakatipu. If I remember correctly, it is also on a generous path that would allow for bikes or strollers if one is so inclined. The walk is quoted as being an on-leash walk, but we will discuss that more in-depth later.
The walk itself has views, upon views, upon more views. Pretty much the whole way you have visible sight of the lake, and then you have all the mountains nearby and you are in for a visual masterpiece. I don't know if it's because I have mainly travelled around the North Island, but I honestly cannot tear my eyes away from the mountain ranges I saw in the South Island. With that being said, a lot of this walk had me staring longingly at the mountains on all side. I was also at the time reading a lot of books about hiking, and mountaineering which made me also just want to scale every mountain I looked at.
The walk is through some light bush, and you would also get the chance to access the lake at small little spots along the way. I loved these little stops that Diego and I could make where we could play fetch in the water, and spend some time off the path really enjoying the world we were in.
At the end of this walk, you can walk up this little hill to have amazing 360 shots of Lake Wakatipu and Bob's Cove. This was such a beautiful spot to sit, enjoy some food and water and take in all the glory that is Queenstown. There was quite a few people sitting on some of the rocks up there, and where the photos that are easily recognisable as Bob's Cove are taken.
Now with all this beauty in front of me, it must have been the most incredible walk, right? Wrong. I left this walk feeling defeated, I cried while walking it, and honestly wanted to just go back to the North Island and crawl into my bed. I have never in my life met such selfish and useless dog owners than on this walk. If you have read a few of my posts, you would know Diego is a bit dog reactive. I put this down to my own failings and not his, but for this reason I search out for on-leash walks.
Along this walk I met three different owners and their dogs all without leashes being used. The first owner had four dogs and all of them immediately rushed at Diego with their hackles up. I had thankfully been doing work with Lu and Tim on Diego's reactivity and he wasn't as edgy as usually. I backed him up into the bush behind me and had to physically push these dogs away from us as they were trying to circle Diego. I yelled out to the owner to leash her dogs and she has the audacity to tell me they are friendly. After re-iterating the point that this is a leashed walk, and can she please control her dogs, she slowly goes to put them on leash. I have to tell her Diego is aggressive, so she thinks that is a great reason for why I shouldn't be walking him. Insert eye roll here please. Anyway, her dogs are not listening to her recall at all, and I am getting further pushed into the bush trying to make sure they don't get Diego. Diego being the prince he sometimes is, was actually just sitting behind me quite nicely. Knowing Diego though, one muzzle near him and all hell would have broken loose.
Okay, that all resolved itself, and she finally left with her poorly trained dogs. Like honestly, if you can't recall a dog, don't let it off. Moving on. After that I managed to park up in one of the little areas to play fetch with Diego and try to let go of my built up anger. We then complete the walk and turn around to walk back to the campsite. This is when I keep thinking about how we could run into her again on the way back. With this in mind, every bend of the track scared me thinking I would see her.
The next dog that did appear was off leash, but had a great recall and was placed on leash for a polite walk past. Thank you kind sir. The next dog not so good. They were once again off leash and the dogs hackles immediately were up and on guard from a decent way off. The owner managed to recall her dog, but instead of leashing the dog, kept asking it to sit. I don't know the purpose of this, especially when the dog was ready to bolt at any moment. Anyway, she kept repeating sit, and the dog kept ignoring her. Finally, the dog had enough and absolutely flew at Diego. This owner was apologetic, but also, what?! Why are you making it sit when it already came to you. Just leash it then request the sit. I will never understand that.
I don't know if I would ever do this walk again. Becki said it can be like that quite a bit, and actively avoided it with Kobe for that reason. I am all for letting dogs offleash, but do it when appropriate or when you have good enough control to recall them when coming upon someone else. With Diego still in training for my failings, I just can't let him continuously be put back in his training by off-leash, crazy dogs approaching him. I do hope one day to be able to return to this walk, because other than the dogs I really did love it.
Have you ever done this walk? How did you find it? Let me know in the comments!