Autumn is the time to experience this beautiful region at a slower place. It is the time to indulge all senses in the colours and flavours of the season, exploring the award winning restaurants and wineries on Queenstown’s door step or relaxing at a yoga retreat while overlooking the beautiful Lake Wakatipu.
Soak up the autumn sunshine while you explore local vineyards and wineries by bike or fill your days exploring local galleries, diverse retail stores, cafes and restaurants. The crisp evenings are perfect for sipping a glass of award-winning local Pinot Noir beside a fire.
A trip to Queenstown in autumn would not be complete without visiting Arrowtown, an easy 20-minute drive from Queenstown’s CBD. A popular spot for photographers in autumn, the historic gold mining village is celebrated for its famous autumn hues when the deciduous trees on the surrounding hills turn red and gold. Explore the quaint streets, old miners’ cottages, restored Chinese Village and Lakes District Museum. Make sure you leave time to experience Arrowtown’s award-winning restaurants and cafes with their gourmet food and spectacular wine lists.
Queenstown's walking tracks will really immerse you in the bold tones of autumn. The Sawpit Gully track in Arrowtown is an enjoyable 2-3 hour look track through mostly open country with a variety of scenery. The walk boasts stunning views of the Wakatipu basin as well as a few remnants of the area’s rich gold-mining history. Towards Glenorchy, you'll find Bob's Cove Track, a 40 minute return track through native bush with plenty of bird life and beautiful lake views, and for those with more time to spare Mt Crichton Loop Track is a 2.5 hour loop which features rivers, waterfalls, and historic 'Sam Summers Hut'.
Autumn is an ideal season to hop on your bike. The Queenstown Trail forms a stunning part of Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail, an 130km network of trails in the Wakatipu basin. Wind between rivers, lakes and mountain ranges with easy access to some iconic Queenstown vistas and experiences on the undulating trail. Popular spots such as Queenstown Bay, Frankton, Lake Hayes, Arrowtown or Gibbston’s ‘valley of vines’ can all be accessed via the Queenstown Trail—and many of these locations offer especially wonderful displays of autumn colour.
Queenstown has a full calendar of local creative events and workshops throughout autumn, with jewellery making courses, pottery classes, and ‘Drink and Draw’ events making a regular appearance at local venues such as Sherwood Hotel, Yonder, Smiths Craft Beer House and more. Anyone is welcome at these events, and what better thing to take back from your holiday than a new skill or craft.