A spot of rain won’t stop you enjoying all Queenstown has to offer. Whether you prefer exploring the landscape in comfort, unwinding in boutique day spas and hot pools, or experiencing the vibrant local food and wine scene, there’s a wealth of Queenstown rain activities to be found.

Sightsee in style and comfort

Queenstown’s scenery is awe-inspiring in all kinds of weather and a rainy day is the perfect excuse to book yourself on a scenic tour or a cruise to kick back and admire the landscape.

Cruise Lake Whakatipu

Take a lake cruise and enjoy Queenstown and The Remarkables from the water. Visit Walter Peak High Country Farm for tea or a BBQ and a farm tour on the historic steamship TSS Earnslaw. Cruise secluded coves and historic landmarks aboard The Spirit of Queenstown over a cheeseboard and a glass of local wine. Or cruise up to the Frankton arm of Lake Whakatipu on the Million Dollar Cruise and take in the wildlife, surrounding homes and majestic landscapes.

Southern Discoveries Spirit of Queenstown CruiseThe Spirit of Queenstown scenic cruise on Lake Whakatipu

Experience a Milford adventure

Take a drive or book a tour to Milford Sound, and see why it’s considered the eighth wonder of the world. Fiordland is even more dramatic in wild weather, and it’s a magical sight to behold by boat cruise when the waterfalls tumble down steep cliffs into the fiords. If you're driving, check the road is open before you depart and carry chains in winter in case of snow. Even better, join a coach trip or a scenic flight and soak up the views along the way.

Milford Haven Cruise in Milford SoundRealNZ Milford Haven Cruise

Go off road and tour our backcountry

What better way to explore the mountains around Queenstown, than a private tour in a Tesla Model X ESUV? Take in the monumental landscapes in this whisper-quiet luxury car. Drive the historic Skippers Canyon road along steep cliffs, visit the head of the lake and Mount Aspiring National Park, or explore Lord of the Rings locations with your own personal guide.

If a 4WD adventure is more of your style, book a tour of Skippers Canyon, an infamously steep mountain pass rated one of the most dangerous roads in the world (luckily our local drivers know the ropes). Or head into the abandoned goldmining village of Macetown, fording rivers and learning all about local history. Nomad Safaris, Private Discovery Tours, and Offroad 4x4 all offer 4WD scenic tours and off road experiences.

Skippers Road, Tesla Tour with Nomad SafarisNomad Safaris Tesla Tour

Rainy day indulgence

Sometimes when it’s damp outside, you just want to embrace the great indoors. In Queenstown, you can re-energise with spas, hot pools and yoga or a spot of retail therapy.

Relax with a spa day or a yoga session

Spend the day at one of Queenstown’s day spas. With treatment rooms, saunas, spas and heated pools, you won’t have any trouble filling your entire day with the ultimate indulgence. Some favourites are the marble splendour of the Spa at Nugget Point, the calm retreat of the Spa at Millbrook, and massage at Body Sanctum

If you’re an active relaxer, try Queenstown’s yoga studios, from Fierce Grace Hot Yoga, power vinyasa at Sangha Yoga Queenstown, or full immersion at Aro Ha Wellness Retreat.

Yoga Practice at Aro Ha RetreatYoga practice at Aro Ha Wellness Retreat

Take a soak with a view

Take a trip to a Queenstown hot pool and soak away an afternoon gazing at the view with the rain pattering around you. Choose from the cedar lined tubs overlooking the Shotover River at Onsen Hot Pools, the outdoor hot tubs at Nugget Point, the pool and hot tubs at the Spa at Millbrook, or book the private rooftop spa at the Penthouse at Eichardts for an extra dose of luxury.

Nugget Point Spa pool

The Spa at Nugget Point

Catch a film

Hide yourselves away and catch a movie at Reading Cinema in Queenstown or Dorothy Browns in Arrowtown. This boutique cinema is a film lover’s dream come true, showing both arthouse classics and contemporary blockbusters. There’s decadent décor with a silk lined ceiling, a roaring log fire, comfortable seats with plenty of leg room, a gin bar, and a great selection of local wines. The perfect rainy day delight.

Dorothy Brown Cinemas Gin Bar

Dorothy Browns Gin Bar

Boutique shopping

Queenstown’s compact, walkable centre is home to some retail institutions. Fashion destinations include Seletti Concept Store, Issimo ShoesDecjuba, Flo & Frankie, cashmere store Elle + Riley, and designer boutique Angel Divine. Homeware enthusiasts will love BONZ for sheepskins, and DECODE for designer clothing and home decor. Or simply stroll down The Mall, window shopping up a storm.

The old goldmining village of Arrowtown is a boutique shopping haven where everything’s within five minutes’ walk, so you won’t get wet. Track down treats to take home in the many boutique shops, including fashion, antiques, sweets and homewares, or taste wines from New Zealand boutique wineries and New Zealand single malt whiskies at The Winery.  

View of The Mall at Night with view of mountains

The Mall, Queenstown

Art galleries

The spectacular scenery surrounding Queenstown has inspired a collection of local artists, and a rainy day is the ideal opportunity to discover their work. The Central Art Gallery shows over 90 New Zealand artists in one of New Zealand’s oldest galleries, while Milford Gallery also shows sculpture, glass and ceramics, and Starkwhite shows contemporary work. The streets of Arrowtown are home to a cluster of galleries and artists’ studios, including Nadene Milne Gallery which shows celebrated, contemporary New Zealand talent.

Displayed art at the David John Gallery, Arrowtown

David John Gallery, Arrowtown

Taste the Queenstown difference

Queenstown is celebrated for its renowned food and wine scene with more than 150 bars, restaurants and cafes offering international cuisine served up by talented chefs. Head to Gibbston, known as the Valley of the Vines and taste famous Central Otago pinot noir just 25-minutes up the road. Or sample the flavours of Queenstown’s craft beer scene, where brewers concoct delicious local brews.

Delight your taste buds with a degustation

Sample signature dishes with a degustation dinner at one of Queenstown's top restaurants and experience culinary artistry paired with Central Otago wine. Some local highlights are Michelin-starred Josh Emett’s Rātā, Ben Norfolk at Bunker in Cow Lane, Northern Italian flavour with Ben Bayly at Aosta in Arrowtown, and Cuisine Chef of the Year, Vaughan Mabee at Amisfield. More fine dining delights over here.

Friends dining at Rata, Queenstown

Dining at Michelin-starred Josh Emett’s Rātā

Explore Queenstown’s café scene

Hole up in one of Queenstown's cosy cafés, surrounded by majestic landscapes, excellent food and coffee. Tasty options include The Bathhouse, nestled on Queenstown Bay overlooking the lake and beside the Queenstown Gardens, the Boat Shed located on the Frankton Marina for views over the lake and delicious brunch, Yonder for chilled vibes and great coffee, and Bespoke Kitchen for panoramic views over Queenstown’s town centre, and proximity to activities, and simple, healthy food.

Friends Having Brunch at Bespoke Kitchen

Dining at Bespoke Kitchen

Take a tour of the local terroir

With 200 Central Otago wineries within an hour’s drive of Queenstown and Gibbston’s winemakers only 20 minutes up the road, take a wine tour and taste the terroir of the world’s southernmost wine region. Spend half a day experiencing the region’s mighty pinot noirs and delicious aromatic whites.

Wine tasting at Kinross, with Appellation Wine ToursWine tasting at Kinross

Experience local gins

Take a local gin tasting tour at the Gin Garden, a dedicated gin tasting room in Arthurs Point. Broken Heart Spirits make craft gin with ingredients sourced locally, with pure water from Paradise, quinces from Arrowtown, pinot from Gibbston, and wild plums foraged from Bannockburn. The Gin Garden menu features dishes riffing on their gin flavours. The Winery in Arrowtown also offers local gin tasting flights.

Sip distinctive craft beers

Experience Queenstown’s vibrant craft beer scene. Six craft breweries use locally sourced ingredients. From Altitude Brewing’s peated stout to Lake & Wood’s horopito Saison, Queenstown breweries use local flavours to brew distinctive regional ales. Local craft beer tours are an easy way to explore the brews and learn more about the brewers.

Delicious wine and beerCraft Beer Tour with Altitude Tours