Central Queenstown is a bustling hive of bars, restaurants and shops, making it a vibrant town center to entertain every visitor. Originally a mining town home to gold rushers, Queenstown has blossomed into the home of adventure sports and the ultimate base camp for visitors to our stunning, pristine natural playground. In town be sure to visit the waterfront, walk past to the Queenstown Gardens or enjoy a ride up Bob’s Peak on the gondola to ride the luge or simply have a coffee and enjoy the view.
A 45 minute drive around the lake to Glenorchy takes you to the wilderness of the remote head of Lake Wakitipu and the plains, valleys and river crossings of Paradise. Explore this fantastic terrain that has inspired multiple filmmakers from horseback, jet boat or on foot.
The entire Southern Lakes Region is steeped in the mining history of the late nineteenth century, but nowhere is it more present today then Arrowtown. With the town centre almost completely preserved or restored to reflect the original clapboard village established during the gold rush, it is a lovely place to stop in and step back in time. Visit the restored main Buckingham Street or the historic Chinese Mining Settlement. In addition to a wonderful range of boutique shops, Arrowtown is a hub of local food and wine and is now home to a great range of bars and restaurants including Saffron, one of the top establishments in the region. It is a lovely afternoon out or a convenient stop only 20 minutes north of Queenstown.
Gibbston Valley & Bannockburn
Located at 45˚ south, and with Pinot Noir accounting for 70% of the planted vines, Central Otago is the southernmost Pinot region in the world. The stunning beauty of the area alone makes it worth a visit and for anyone with an interest in wine there is plenty to tempt even the most selective palates. Made up of a wide variety of sub regions, the sloping, riverside plains of the Cromwell Basin account for the majority of the region’s plantings. In contrast, the steep slopes and terraces of Gibbston Valley produce some of the areas most outstanding wines. Incorporate it as a stop on your way to Wanaka or arrange to spend the day there with a private tour guide.
Just a beautiful hour’s drive over the Crown Range north of Queenstown is the lakefront town of Wanaka. Situated on the doorstep of Mount Aspiring National Park World Heritage Area, Wanaka is a gateway to the rugged countryside of Southland. As the laidback sibling of Queenstown this comparatively quiet centre is home to a fantastic range of family friendly activities including day walks along the lake front, target shooting at Have a Shot and Puzzling World with their giant walk through maze.