1. Take a scenic flight
Sit back, relax, and survey spectacular World Heritage landscapes from the air on the ultimate scenic tour. Fly by helicopter or plane over the Southern Alps to Milford Sound, or sweep around the peak of Aoraki/Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain.
2. Cruise Lake Wakatipu
Wander down to the waterfront, hop aboard a boat, and cruise the waters of New Zealand’s longest lake. Step back in time on the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw, lap up the luxury of a state-of-the-art catamaran, or blast around the bays on a jetboat.
3. Eat, drink, shop
Ease into the day with a scrumptious cafe brunch before ambling around Queenstown’s satisfying shopping streets. Then celebrate your scores – or self-restraint! – in one (or maybe two) of the town’s cosmopolitan restaurants and bars.
The cruisy side of Queenstown is never hard to find, and full of leisurely experiences packed to the max with wow-factor and fun.
4. Freewheel the cycle trails
Most of the 130km Queenstown Trail network is smooth and flat, including the leisurely Lake Wakatipu Trail starting from Queenstown Gardens. While some pedaling will be required, the scenery is highly distracting, as are stops for sticky buns and cold beer en route.
5. Wine & dine amongst the vines
Savour world-class pinot noir and luscious aromatic wines amongst the rugged landscapes of the Gibbston Valley. Self-drive, join a guided tour, or cycle around the vineyards to get a taste of the terroir and indulge in delicious food al fresco.
6. Amble around Arrowtown
Discover the region’s glittering past in this irresistibly quaint gold rush town, lined with historic buildings and home to an excellent museum. Take a wander along the pretty Arrow River, then browse the boutique shops and seek refreshments in one of the many cafes and restaurants.
7. Explore the backcountry by 4WD
Passionate local guides bring the region’s colourful history to life on 4WD tours taking in cinematic Middle-earth landscapes, the hidden gold rush settlement of Macetown, and Skippers Canyon – a famously precipitous road hewn by hand.
8. Stroll around Queenstown Gardens
Draped over a small peninsula, a couple of minutes’ walk from the centre of town, Queenstown Gardens vie for the crown of New Zealand’s finest park with the bonus of epic mountain and Lake Wakatipu views. Graceful trees, lush lawns and well-tended flowerbeds make it an idyllic spot to while away a couple of hours.
9. Play a round of golf
Tee off at one of six spectacular courses on Queentown’s doorstep, including world-class Jack’s Point, Millbrook and The Hills where the quality of the groomed fairways and immaculate greens are matched by eye-popping scenery and warm hospitality in the clubhouse.