Queenstown is a small resort city in New Zealand that sits on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and boasts stunning views of snow-covered mountains. Not too way back, it was identified primarily as a snowboarding getaway, however that has modified dramatically. Right this moment, guests flock to this self-proclaimed “Journey Capital of the World” 12 months spherical to get pleasure from all that the gorgeous area has to supply, together with white water river rafting, mountain climbing and jet boating.
And if these actions are too tame for you, Queenstown additionally has loads of uncommon adrenaline sports activities that you may strive, together with zorbing, canyon swinging and white water sledging. Though this city likes to brag about its wild aspect, you can too discover loads of peaceable escapes only a brief day journey from Queenstown.
Map of day journeys from Queenstown
Should you get pleasure from strolling via quaint little villages, you’ll love Arrowtown. This former gold mining city, which is positioned roughly 20 minutes from Queenstown on the banks of the Arrow River, nonetheless maintains a lot of its historic allure.
Do you need to study extra about New Zealand’s gold rush and the historical past of this space? Then ensure to take a look at the Lakes District Museum and take a jaunt over to the fascinating Chinese language miners’ settlement. Feeling fortunate? Then you definitely’ll need to strive your hand at panning for gold. And since the realm surrounding Arrowtown boasts many trails, together with the Queenstown Path, it’s also a preferred spot with cyclists and hikers. Though Arrowtown is a four-season city, it’s identified for being particularly stunning within the fall when the foliage is altering colours.
Attending to Arrowtown
- To get to Arrowtown by bus, take the blue route Orbus service which prices $2. It takes about half-an-hour from Camp St, Village Inexperienced within the heart of Queenstown.
- Driving takes round 20 minutes, and you’ve got two choices obtainable to you. You’ll be able to both head north out of Queenstown on Gorge Highway, which takes you previous Arthurs Level, or you may take the southern route alongside State Freeway 6 till you flip off simply previous Lake Hayes and observe indicators to Arrowtown. You’ll be able to’t go improper with both route, because the surroundings is beautiful. As soon as having explored the city, you could possibly all the time head to the close by Central Otago Wine Area which is only a brief drive away.
- Many guests choose to take a guided tour to see as lots of the area’s implausible sights as doable. In addition to exploring Arrowtown’s gold mining previous, excursions take you to Gibbston Valley’s stunning vineyards, earlier than culminating with leisure time on the shores of Roys Bay at Wanaka. See journey critiques & costs.
The Central Otago Wine Area is understood for being probably the most southerly business wine-growing area on this planet. Additionally it is New Zealand’s highest and — arguably — it’s most scenic. The Central Otago Wine Area’s mountainous setting gives its vineyards with winters which might be chilly and summers which might be scorching and dry. Rain is minimal on this space. So weather-wise, the Central Otago Wine Area is ideal for producing Pinot Noir wines.
You’ll be able to self-drive and expertise this area’s many vineyards by yourself or you could possibly take part in a guided tour and let another person do the driving for you. And if you happen to’re all in favour of actually attending to soak in the fantastic thing about this area, you could possibly all the time choose to take a biking tour of the wineries as a substitute.
Attending to Central Otago
- The Central Otago Wine Area is made up of six sub-regions, and every has its personal distinctive traits and really feel – though the surroundings is gorgeous wherever you go. By automobile, you may go to a variety of them in a day; Gibbston, Bannockburn, and the Cromwell Basin are all very shut to one another. Head east out of Queenstown on State Freeway 6. After half-an-hour, you’ll attain Gibbston, the place you may strive some wines earlier than heading on to the opposite two, that are 20 minutes additional alongside the identical street.
- If everybody in your get together desires to pattern the scrumptious wines, you could be higher off taking a guided tour of the area. With stops at 4 or 5 wineries included within the itinerary, you’ll get to strive among the area’s finest wines, in addition to go to a lot of gorgeous vineyards. See journey critiques & costs.
That is New Zealand’s third largest nationwide park and a paradise for photographers. In Mt. Aspiring Nationwide Park, you’ll discover glaciers, hovering mountains, stunning valleys, distinctive rock formations and beautiful waterfalls and lakes. This park additionally boasts numerous mountain climbing trails, starting from brief jaunts to lengthy, arduous treks that may take a look at your health. One of the standard trails is the brief, 30-minute stroll to the completely gorgeous, crystal-clear Blue Swimming pools.
Adrenaline junkies can get their repair on this park with jet boat rides or heli-skiing and heli-hiking. Are you a fan of the “Lord of the Rings” films? Then you definitely would possibly acknowledge this park, which was used because the settings for Lothlorien and Isengard.
Attending to Mt. Aspiring Nationwide Park
- A enjoyable and exhilarating option to discover Mt. Aspiring Nationwide Park is to take a guided tour of its wonderful waterways. Surrounded by unbelievable surroundings, you’ll paddle or jet boat your means underneath mountains, via forests, and alongside secluded streams. A magical time out, this tour will allow you to immerse your self within the great nature on present. See journey critiques & costs.
Should you’re looking for a day journey from Queenstown that may fulfill the animal and surroundings lovers in your group, take into account heading to Uncertain Sound, which is positioned in Fiordland Nationwide Park. Though it’s thrice longer than and ten occasions bigger than Milford Sound, it’s the lesser identified of the 2 sounds and so will get fewer guests.
The vacationers who do enterprise to this distant space are rewarded with a pristine wilderness that’s unbelievably peaceable and jaw-dropping-ly beautiful. Whereas within the sound, preserve an eye fixed out for dolphins and Southern fur seals. And if you happen to’re actually fortunate, you could even catch a glimpse of the very uncommon Fiordland crested penguin also called Tawaki.
Attending to Uncertain Sound
- The easiest way to go to the wild and exquisite Uncertain Sound is by taking a guided tour. Guests invariably come away impressed in any respect they’ve seen. Whereas driving via the spectacular surroundings of Fiordland Nationwide Park is beautiful, the spotlight of the tour is the three-hour cruise; the views on supply are simply astounding. With stay commentary offered, you’ll study all concerning the fjord and will even spot dolphins, seals, and penguins. See journey critiques & costs.
The Wanaka area is positioned within the stunning Southern Alps and is an adrenaline junkie’s dream come true. It, in truth, it claims to be one of many world’s finest journey cities. Wanaka is standard with skiers within the winter and with hikers and rock climbers throughout the summer time.
Located on the southern finish of Lake Wanaka, you can too go jet boating, take a helicopter to a glacier, parasail, skydive, take a look at your expertise on a By way of Ferrata tour or go four-wheel-driving.
Wanaka additionally has numerous actions for non-adrenaline junkies, together with stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking. In fact, all of those actions are certain to go away you hungry and thirsty. Happily, the city of Wanaka boasts greater than 150 eating places and bars, so refueling in your subsequent journey shouldn’t be an issue even for the pickiest diner.
Attending to Wanaka
- Round an hour away by automobile, Wanaka could be very straightforward to drive to. On the best way, you’ll move via some pretty surroundings, with mountains, valleys, and lakes wherever you look. Head east out of city on the 6A. At Arrow Junction, proceed heading east on Crown Vary Highway and easily observe all of it the best way to Wanaka. This street is the best sealed street within the nation; as such, there are some fabulous views available alongside the best way.
- An alternative choice is to take a guided tour. This consists of stops at each Wanaka and Arrowtown, in addition to a drive to lots of the most scenic spots within the surrounding space. A extremely popular tour, it presents the proper mix of historical past, tradition, and nature with one thing for everybody to get pleasure from. See journey critiques & costs.
Glenorchy is only a 45-minute drive from Queenstown, however in different methods, it appears a world aside. The landscapes round this small, rustic city are, in truth, so distinctive and magical that many scenes for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, X Males Origins: Wolverine, and Narnia had been shot right here. So it’s in all probability not shocking that the city of Glenorchy, which sits on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, has been known as the “Gateway to Paradise.”
Glenorchy can also be the start line for the Routeburn Observe, considered one of New Zealand’s hottest and well-known hikes. Along with mountain climbing, different methods you may discover this area embody horseback treks, kayaking and jet boat safaris.
Attending to Glenorchy
- Driving from Queenstown to Glenorchy couldn’t be easier, and solely takes round 45 minutes. Merely head west out of city and observe the street that borders the shores of Lake Wakatipu till you arrive at Glenorchy. There are a great deal of implausible photograph alternatives to alongside the best way, and the surroundings on supply is gorgeous.
- Many individuals choose to take a tour to Glenorchy; this takes you to lots of the gorgeous places the place scenes from Lord of the Rings and different film franchises had been filmed. Your information can even inform you concerning the stunning fauna and flora you come throughout. See journey critiques & costs.
Milford Sound, which is positioned in Fiordland Nationwide Park, is understood for its superb surroundings, together with sheer cliffs that plunge into the waters of the fjord and exquisite waterfalls. The truth is, this space is so magical that Rudyard Kipling as soon as known as Milford Sound the “eighth marvel of the world.”
Among the best methods to get pleasure from Milford Sound is on a ship tour, the place you would possibly spot dolphins, seals and penguins. Different standard methods to discover Milford Sound embody mountain climbing, biking and kayaking. And if you happen to’re all in favour of trying out the creatures that stay underneath the ocean, you’ll need to preserve a spot open in your itinerary for a cease on the underwater observatory at Harrison Cove.
Attending to Milford Sound
- As it’s a few 600 kilometer spherical journey from Queenstown to Milford Sound, you’ll spend numerous time on the bus getting there and again; that is inevitable until you’re taking a flight there. The bus takes round 4 hours a method, however is undoubtedly probably the most scenic bus journeys on this planet, as you move awe-inspiring mountains, glittering lakes, and luxurious rainforest. Early within the morning, hop on any one of many buses that depart from the middle of Queenstown and easily sit again and benefit from the experience.
- An alternative choice is to take a guided tour. That is in all probability probably the most environment friendly option to go to Milford Sound and profit from your time while you’re there. With a lot of sightseeing stops included alongside the best way, guests will get to see The Remarkables mountain vary and Lake Te Anau, amongst different sights. The spotlight is a scenic cruise alongside a fjord surrounded by all of the majestic surroundings. See journey critiques & costs.