That said, we’ve rounded up some of the top spots to really get that Queenstown feel in all of your shots. These locations capture all angles of Queenstown, from abovebelow, on the water and in nature.


The TSS Earnslaw

The Lady of the Lake has been gracing the shores of Lake Whakatipu for over a century. Beautifully restored, the ‘Earnie’ will delight from all angles—whether you’re onboard, or watching her come around Queenstown Bay to dock. 

TSS Earnslaw through the trees at dusk with lights twinklingThe TSS Earnslaw. Credit @alexdarkphotography

The view from Queenstown Hill

The easily-accessed Queenstown Hill Time Walk, is a two hour climb (at a leisurely pace) to the ‘basket of dreams’ and in our opinion, the best spot to capture a spectacular angle of The Remarkables mountain range, one of only two mountain ranges in the world to run directly north to south. Walking slightly further along the hill brings you to a small ‘lake’ for a different view point and photo opportunities.

View of mountains and lake from Queenstown Hill SummitQueenstown Hill Summit 

Views from Coronet Peak

Even in summer, the view from Coronet Peak offers snappers a panorama of the Whakatipu basin, including the Crown Terrace, a hint of Lake Hayes, and The Remarkables, as well as the paragliders and hang-gliders launching themselves off the mountain during Summer.

Soft warm hues of the sunrise at Coronet Peak with mountain poking out above cloudsCoronet Peak

The Arrow River

Once a gold miners dream, the Arrow River is now a photographic paradise year round, with its distinct seasonal changes. Visit during April and May to capture the stunning autumn colours reflected in the river, or in spring to snap the new growth bright in the trees. Summer sees lupins flowering along the banks, and in winter there’s a chance of snow amidst the wooden tones.

Autumn trees falling around Arrow RiverThe Arrow River. Credit @blondeandthebeyond

Ben Lomond

This one requires some effort, the summit is a six to eight hour round trip, but you will be rewarded with a 360 degree view of the Whakatipu Basin. Please take the time to read this information on hiking and walking safely in the region. 

Ben Lomond HikingBen Lomond Track

Glenorchy Wharf

Glenorchy is a gateway to many activities in the region, but no visit is complete without checking out the Glenorchy Wharf, for its access to lake and mountain views. The famous Red Wharf shed, is a great shot, as are the sunken trees just to the right of the wharf—they create an eerie subject, especially if there happens to be fog rolling over the lake.

Red wharf shed and snowy mountains reflecting on the riverGlenorchy Warf. Credit @barekiwi

Bob's Peak

Bob's Peak isn’t considered an iconic Queenstown experience for nothing. The unrivalled views of the Queenstown region are the perfect brag spot for photographers to capture and let the world know where they are. While you’re there look out for lugers, zipliners, mountain bikers, and paragliders as this spot is a hive of adventure activities.

Bob's Peak Sunset, QueenstownBob's Peak. Credit @div_x

The Devil's Staircase

This road winds between Lake Whakatipu and The Remarkables mountain range, with spectacular views up and down the Kingston arm of the lake. The best photo stop is from the lookout at the top of Devil’s Staircase. Take care when pulling over into the stop.

The winding road of the Devil's Staircase.The Devil's Staircase. Credit @anv_productions

Lake Hayes

This spot is a photographers dream, with glass like reflections on a still day and views of The Remarkables, Coronet Peak, Cecil Peak and off towards Arrowtown in the distance. The two-and-a-half hour walking track loops around the lake, undulating to give difference perspectives at each peak or right down to the water’s edge. The reserve at the north eastern end is a popular swimming hole in the summer, with kayakers and paddle boarders taking to the water.

Hot air balloon flying over misty lakeLake Hayes. Credit @wlaiphotos

Cecil and Walter Peaks from Queenstown Bay

Cecil and Walter Peaks were named after William Rees’ sons. Rees was one of the region’s first European settlers and is regarded as the father of Queenstown. You can get great shots of both of these peaks from a sweet possie on Queenstown Beach, taking in the bustling action on the water in the foreground. 

Family sitting by the waterfront looking out to lake and mountainsQueenstown Bay