Five ways to spend your day in and around Queenstown

The Queenstown region is one of the most beautiful areas in New Zealand. There is so much to see and do, not only in the town itself, but also in a number of excellent spots reachable by day trip.

If you’re keen to have a look around and find what the region has to offer, it helps to have inside knowledge. So to get you started here’s our list of the top five-day trips in and around the Queenstown area.

1. A trip out to Walter Peak High Country Farm on the TSS Earnslaw

Cruising out to Walter Peak High Country Farm aboard the iconic steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, is a must-do on any Queenstown vacation. Known affectionately as ‘the lady of the lake,’ the 102-year-old TSS Earnslaw carries visitors across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak three times a day. Once out at Walter Peak you can watch a high country farming demonstration, see some animals, or choose to sit down for a delicious gourmet BBQ lunch or dinner at the farm’s homestead. 

2. Take a scenic drive out to Glenorchy

The quaint township of Glenorchy is located 45 minutes' drive from Queenstown at the head of Lake Wakatipu. As with much of the region, it is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream - nestled in next to the Dart River and surrounded by native beech-covered mountains. The drive in to Glenorchy winds around the lake and is rated as one of the top 10 scenic drives in the world. Whether you’re looking for a bit of adventure or a relaxing glass of wine while you take in the views, Glenorchy never fails to impress.

3. Head over the Crown Range to stunning Lake Wanaka

The drive to Lake Wanaka from Queenstown takes around an hour but it goes by in a flash, and the scenery will have you reaching for your camera again and again. Take the Crown Range Alpine Pass road for amazing views of the Wakatipu basin on the way up. The township of Wanaka is regarded as one of the most beautiful in New Zealand and when you arrive it’s easy to see why. A bustling little township situated right on the lake with plenty to do, see, eat and drink – you’ll soon realise why Wanaka used to be the locals’ little secret.

4. Check out the view from Ben Lomond

If, like many visitors to Queenstown, you enjoy getting out and about in the great outdoors, then a walk up Ben Lomond is definitely for you. Ben Lomond is the impressive 1748m peak that sits above Queenstown and a demanding yet technically simple walk will get you to the top and back in 6-8 hours. The view from the top is regarded as one of the best in the region, and definitely worth the effort. For those looking for less of a hike there is the option of Ben Lomond saddle which is a 3-4 hour round trip. You can either leave from Queenstown or cut the first 450m off the climb by taking the Skyline Gondola, and stopping in for a well-earned drink on the way back down.

5. Sample the region’s fine wines

The wine produced in and around the Queenstown region is highly regarded, particularly the famous Central Otago Pinot Noir. There is a wide range of tours available that can take you around the vineyards and wineries of Arrowtown, Gibbston Valley and Queenstown, as well as those further afield in places like Bannockburn and Cromwell. You can enjoy cellar door tastings, excellent meals, and of course, pick up a bottle or two for back home. Many of the vineyards can be accessed by bike using the 100km of excellent tracks that wind all over the region.

While the above list will certainly keep you busy, there is so much more to do in Queenstown and the surrounding area. With something to suit everyone, Queenstown is a holiday destination that ticks all the boxes. If you want some more information about any of the trips above, or want to find out more about booking spacious luxury self-contained apartments in Queenstown, get in touch. At LakeRidge Queenstown we’ve got decades of local experience between us, and want to make sure you have the best possible trip to our part of the world.

 Photo courtesy of Real Journeys.

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