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  • Writer's pictureTravel Guide

A Majestic Tour of Queenstown: Top 10 Unmissable Destinations

Updated: Mar 25

Queenstown, nestled in the heart of New Zealand's South Island, is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, adventure activities, and charming alpine village atmosphere. From serene lakes to soaring mountains and adrenaline-pumping adventures, Queenstown has something to offer every traveler. Join us as we explore the top 10 best destinations in Queenstown, ensuring your journey through this captivating destination is filled with unforgettable experiences.


  1. Lake Wakatipu

  2. The Remarkables

  3. Skyline Queenstown

  4. Milford Sound

  5. Arrowtown

  6. Queenstown Garden

  7. Gibbston Valley Wineries

  8. Ben Lomond Track

  9. Skippers Canyon

  10. TSS Earnslaw

1. Lake Wakatipu: Queenstown's Serene Gem

Lake Wakatipu, with its crystal-clear waters and dramatic mountain backdrop, is the jewel of Queenstown. The lake offers a serene setting for strolls, picnics, and scenic cruises. Take a leisurely walk along the Queenstown Gardens or enjoy a lakeside bike ride. The tranquil beauty of Lake Wakatipu is the perfect introduction to Queenstown's natural wonders.

Jewel of the Southern Alps

Lake Wakatipu is more than just a picturesque view; it's also home to a variety of water activities. You can embark on a scenic cruise on the historic TSS Earnslaw, jet boat across the lake, or even try parasailing for a thrilling aerial perspective. The stunning reflections of the surrounding Remarkables mountain range on the lake's surface make it a photographer's paradise.

Arial view of Lake Wakatipu

2. The Remarkables: Sculpted by Nature

The Remarkables, an aptly named mountain range, provides the perfect backdrop for Queenstown. Whether you're a seasoned skier or just seeking stunning alpine views, the Remarkables offer year-round allure. During the winter, the area becomes a popular ski destination with slopes suitable for all levels. In the summer, hiking and mountain biking trails open up, providing access to magnificent vistas.

The Remarkables Await

The Remarkables are not just about sports; they are also a place for pure relaxation. Take a scenic drive to reach the Remarkables Lookout, where you can admire the panoramic views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu. The striking landscapes and the pure alpine air make the Remarkables an essential part of your Queenstown experience.

View of The Remarkables

3. Skyline Queenstown: Ride to the Sky

Skyline Queenstown offers a thrilling gondola ride to Bob's Peak, where you'll discover unparalleled views of Queenstown and its surrounding landscapes. At the top, you can take a closer look at the breathtaking panoramas, enjoy a meal with a view at the Stratosfare Restaurant, or even try the thrilling Luge ride. Sunset from Skyline Queenstown is a sight to behold, with the Remarkables bathed in a golden glow.

Dining with a View

The stargazing opportunities at Bob's Peak are exceptional, with guided tours available to help you explore the southern night sky. It's a unique experience that provides a deeper connection to the natural beauty of Queenstown. Skyline Queenstown is an iconic destination that combines awe-inspiring vistas with entertainment, making it a must-visit during your Queenstown stay.

Gondolo ride of Queenstowns skyline

4. Milford Sound: New Zealand's Fiordland Gem

Milford Sound, although a few hours' drive from Queenstown, is a natural wonder that deserves a spot on your itinerary. This fiord in Fiordland National Park is a place of stunning beauty, with towering waterfalls, lush rainforests, and serene waters. The boat cruises that navigate the fiord allow you to get up close to the dramatic scenery and encounter seals, dolphins, and sometimes even penguins.

A Journey to the Eighth Wonder

Milford Sound's landscape is a product of glaciation, creating an otherworldly setting that has earned it a reputation as the "Eighth Wonder of the World." It's a place to immerse yourself in the raw, unspoiled beauty of New Zealand's wilderness. A day trip to Milford Sound is an awe-inspiring journey through some of the country's most pristine landscapes.

Milford Sound top view

5. Arrowtown: A Step Back in Time

Arrowtown, a charming gold rush town, is a step back in time to New Zealand's history. This quaint village is known for its well-preserved historic buildings and a laid-back atmosphere. Stroll along the tree-lined streets, admire the colorful autumn foliage, and visit the Lakes District Museum to learn about the town's rich heritage.

Heritage and Beauty

Arrowtown is also a hub for art galleries, boutique shops, and enticing cafes. Don't miss the opportunity to try your hand at gold panning in the Arrow River, a fun and educational activity for visitors of all ages. Arrowtown's nostalgic charm and stunning surroundings make it a delightful day trip from Queenstown.

Forest in Arrowtown

6. Queenstown Gardens: Tranquil Oasis

Queenstown Gardens, situated on a small peninsula in Lake Wakatipu, is an urban park that provides a tranquil escape in the heart of the city. The gardens feature a mix of exotic and native plants, making it a delightful place for a stroll or a peaceful picnic. As you wander through the gardens, you'll encounter iconic landmarks like the Queenstown Rose Garden and the charming wooden bridge.

Blooms and Views

The gardens also offer opportunities for sports enthusiasts, with a frisbee golf course, tennis courts, and a lawn bowling club. The waterfront views and the stunning backdrop of the Remarkables make Queenstown Gardens a place where you can reconnect with nature and savor the city's natural beauty.

Bridgde in Queenstown gardens

7. Gibbston Valley Wineries: Where Wine and Scenery Meet

Gibbston Valley, known as the "Valley of the Vines," is a wine lover's paradise just a short drive from Queenstown. This picturesque region is famous for its vineyards, boutique wineries, and wine-tasting experiences. The Central Otago wine region is renowned for its Pinot Noir, and Gibbston Valley is no exception. Sample a variety of wines, enjoy cellar door tours, and savor gourmet food at the winery restaurants.

Sip and Savor

Beyond wine, Gibbston Valley offers a captivating landscape of rugged schist rock, mountain ranges, and the tranquil Kawarau River. The vineyards themselves are set against this dramatic backdrop, creating a serene environment for wine appreciation. A visit to Gibbston Valley is a journey through the region's award-winning wines and awe-inspiring scenery.

Gibbston Wine Valley

8. Ben Lomond Track: Hiking High

The Ben Lomond Track is a hiking adventure that rewards you with spectacular panoramic views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu. The trail takes you through alpine meadows, lush forests, and across the tussock-covered slopes of Ben Lomond. While the hike to the saddle offers impressive vistas, the full journey to Ben Lomond Summit is a challenging but truly rewarding experience.

Summit Views

The track is an opportunity to immerse yourself in New Zealand's natural beauty and alpine landscapes. In the winter, the Ben Lomond Track transforms into a snowshoeing and cross-country skiing destination. It's a place where you can enjoy outdoor activities while relishing the pristine wilderness of Queenstown.

Hiking track of Ben Lomond

9. Skippers Canyon: Thrills and History

Skippers Canyon, a historic gorge carved by the Shotover River, is a place of rugged beauty and rich gold mining history. The canyon is accessible via a thrilling, narrow road that winds its way through cliffs and offers stunning views. It's a popular destination for adventure seekers, with jet boat tours and bungee jumping available for those looking to add some excitement to their visit.

Gorge of Gold

The area's historical significance is evident in the relics of old mining settlements and the historic Skippers Bridge. A visit to Skippers Canyon is an opportunity to step back in time and experience the essence of New Zealand's gold rush era while exploring the raw, untamed landscape.

Skippers Canyon

10. TSS Earnslaw: Vintage Voyage

The TSS Earnslaw, a vintage steamship, is a living piece of Queenstown's history. This majestic vessel offers scenic cruises on Lake Wakatipu, providing a unique perspective of the surrounding landscapes. As you step aboard the Earnslaw, you'll be transported back to a bygone era, with polished brass and gleaming woodwork.

Steamship Stories

The cruise not only offers breathtaking views but also an opportunity to visit Walter Peak High Country Farm, where you can experience life on a working sheep farm. Watch sheepdogs at work, enjoy a sumptuous barbecue meal, and even try your hand at shearing. The TSS Earnslaw is a blend of history, natural beauty, and agricultural traditions, making it a memorable experience for all ages.

Nightview of TSS Earnslaw


These 10 destinations in Queenstown, New Zealand, promise a diverse and captivating journey through the city's natural beauty, history, and adventure opportunities. Whether you're exploring serene lakes, soaring mountains, or historic villages, Queenstown offers a wide range of experiences for travelers of all interests. So, pack your bags and get ready to uncover the best of Queenstown, where nature and adventure come together to create a truly unforgettable destination.

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