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Selling Queenstown for starry-eyed romantics, those on honeymoon, or for those planning an intimate and memorable escape to Queenstown, discover our 3night/4 day or 5night/6 day romance itineraries so that as a travel seller you can have some ideas on how to curate an experience for your clients.

A Queenstown love story…

Queenstown’s long association with romance has been beautifully captured in an ancient Maori legend about forbidden love, and a heart that’s said to still beat today beneath the deep waters of Lake Wakatipu.

Two star-crossed lovers, the young warrior Matakauri and Manata, the beautiful daughter of a Maori chief who forbade them to marry. One night, the cruel giant Matau stole Manata and hid her away in his mountain lair.

Completely distraught, her father declared that the warrior who was brave enough to rescue her could marry her. Matakauri accepted this challenge, because he knew that the next time the warm wind blew from the north-west it would put the giant to sleep. 

Soon enough the warm wind blew and as the sleeping giant lay curled on his side, Matakauri rescued Manata, setting fire to Matau as the couple escaped to ensure he never stole Manata again. The giant’s body melted, creating a massive hole that filled with melted ice and snow. The large ‘S’ shaped lake left in his place is now called Wakatipu, which translates as the ‘hollow of the sleeping giant’.