Take time over your morning coffee

Too often we’re grabbing a hot drink to-go on our way to work, or meeting friends and family out and about. Take the opportunity to sit back and relax over a coffee, sweet treat and a newspaper, book or magazine at one of our great cafes. Or, take your drink down to Queenstown Bay and sit on the lakefront steps to enjoy the views of the bustling bay and beyond. On Saturdays, you could sip as you stroll through the arts and crafts market in Earnslaw Park. 

Pastry and Coffee at Gibbston Valley Lodge
Pastry and coffee at Gibbston Valley Lodge

Relax in an outdoor hot tub

It’s hard to imagine anything better than topping off a day out exploring or exercising than lying back in a steaming hot jacuzzi under the twinkling stars, breathing in that fresh alpine air. At Kinloch Lodge, a 75-minute drive from Queenstown, the hot tub is raised on a platform, offering views of the mountain range opposite and a perspective of the lake rarely seen. Closer to town are the Onsen Hot Pools, an option in any weather, the picture windows looking out over Shotover Canyon are retractable at the touch of a button. These are 10 minutes out of town at Arthurs Point, shuttles and various packages are available. 

Outdoor Onsen, Onsen Hot Pools & Day Spa
Looking over the Shotover River, Onsen Hot Pools

Take to the skies

Queenstown is one of the best places in the world to embark in a scenic flight and indulge in a birds-eye view of your surroundings - think wide, clear lakes and rivers, native bush, and dramatic mountains. There are a number of operations offering helicopter, hot air balloon and small plane outings (consider taking one over to Milford Sound), and there are myriad options, from ski-field or snow excursions to romantic picnics in deserted places.

Hint: Book your air experience early on in your trip, then if the weather doesn't cooperate you can re-book for another day.

Milford Sound Helicopter Tour
Scenic helicopter flight over Milford Sound

Get out on the water

A really special day out in Queenstown is the 90-minute journey to Walter Peak High Country Farm on vintage steamship the TSS Earnslaw. Once the ship reaches Walter Peak, either stay on board or get off for a few hours to enjoy some of the activities and food on offer at the farm, including farm shows, horse treks, morning or afternoon tea, or a fantastic gourmet barbecue lunch. Another Lake Wakatipu cruise, onboard The Spirit of Queenstown catamaran, heads to Mt Nicholas Station, another working farm. Or combine the two on the Station 2 Station Cycle Trail, sail to Mt Nicholas on the Spirit, bike an easy 14km to Walter Peak, then sail back to Queenstown on the Earnslaw.

TSS Earnslaw Vintage Steamship Lake Cruises - Real Journeys

Cruise Lake Wakatipu in the TSS Earnslaw Steamship

Cruise the vineyards in style

This is an area famous for its Pinot Noir in particular, and there are several ways to check out the world-class cellar doors in Gibbston and the wider Central Otago wine region. For the more adventurous, you could travel by helicopter, 4x4 or jet boat; if you’re in a group there are van, walking or cycle tours; or if you’re after a more luxury experience, opt for a bespoke private tour in a high-end car

Wine in Gibbston, Queenstown

Chard Farm Winery & Cellar Door