Arrive in Queenstown and take some time to settle into your accommodation, taking in the views, whether you can see the glistening Lake Wakatipu, the soaring mountains, a winding river or lush gardens.
Find a restaurant featuring glimpses of the water and mountains and indulge with a bottle of the now-famous Central Otago Pinot Noir paired with a fine meal featuring locally sourced produce.
Settle into a chintzy armchair for a nightcap on the way back to the hotel at a nightspot hidden up some stairs or down an alleyway.
Enjoy a long breakfast this morning before embarking on a cruise on Lake Wakatipu, whether it’s on a vintage steamship, or a state-of-the-art modern vessel. Soak up the views and all of the activity on the water, and even incorporate a visit to a working farm and some lunch.
Back on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, take a stroll into the Queenstown Gardens and enjoy the beautiful blooms, whether its tulips in spring or the roses of summer—you might even find a new variety to seek out for the garden at home. Or, hop on the Gondola to see Queenstown from up high.
This evening take a stroll up The Mall and choose from the restaurants available a ground level or upstairs. There’s Asian cuisine options as well as European and North American influenced restaurants, all with a local twist and a wide range of wine to complement your meal.
Today is all about wine. You’ve indulged in some of Central Otago’s vintages already, but now it’s time to delve into the history of winemaking in the region, and head directly from the winemaker’s mouth how the region’s terroir (earth) has shaped our wine’s rise to fame. Tasting is a must on these trips so consider joining an organised tour so you can both share in the experience.
Today, hit the road and make your way around the Northern arm of Lake Wakatipu to Glenorchy, Paradise and Kinloch. Frontier town Glenorchy is your first stop, where you can pause and take in the sheer mountains, and the braided Rees or Dart rivers weaving their way through the valleys.
Join a jet boat trip to explore further up the river, or drive around and see Paradise from the road.
If you’ve got time, go further around the top end of the lake, cross the Dart River bridge and stop at Kinloch, grab a bite to eat and drive to the start of the Greenstone Caples, or the beginning of the Routeburn for a couple of hours walking amongst the South Island rainforest. Do check the weather conditions before you tackle any walks, especially during the cooler months.
Travel back in time today on another day trip, this time to historic gold-mining settlement Arrowtown. Choose some options for a morning, afternoon or evening trip—or wile away a whole day.
Hit the road early to grab a table at one of Arrowtown’s cafes for a traditional cooked breakfast, or try something a little more creative at an innovative eatery bustling with locals and visitors alike.
Once you’re fed and caffeinated, head into the hills for a few hours hiking, choosing from an easy meander along the banks of the Arrow River, or a more challenging two to four hours hiking amongst the hills, up New Chum Gully, Saw Pit Gully or even Big Hill—an extension of the Saw Pit trail.
For lunch visit another café option or grab some cabinet treats, a pie or cheeses and bread and find a spot by the river, or in one of the many green spaces dotted around town
If you’re staying in Queenstown for a whole week, slip in another day exploring the region’s wineries, but maybe this time by bike (perhaps with a little electric-assistance) from Arrowtown into Gibbston. The meandering Queenstown Trail is an easy ride through some stunning scenery, including two suspension bridges between Arrowtown and Gibbston, farm land, and riverside riding.
Refresh back at your hotel in the afternoon and find a couple of hours to book a massage or skin treatment—or even a slow and steady yoga class to ease out any aches picked up on the bike.
Dinner tonight can be a fancy affair if you wish, as you recap your week in Queenstown over fine wine and gorgeous food.
Take an evening stroll along the waterfront, stopping to listen to buskers and people-watching.
Say farewell to Queenstown with a celebratory scenic helicopter experience—whether it’s a quick 10 minute scenic flight, or a longer adventure through the mountains to Milford Sound.
Back down at ground-level, take a little time to pick up any souvenirs for loved ones at home, or a little memento of your visit.