Day 1 in Queenstown
Welcome to Queenstown! Upon arrival at the airport, you will go through customs and immigration. Should you opt to purchase a transfer to your hotel; a representative will be waiting for you as you exit immigration. Arrive at your hotel, check in and do not give in to jet lag! There is so much for you to see and do!
We recommend you get acquainted with the city, take a stroll through downtown and wander down to the lake. Here you will find plenty of shops, cafes and lakeside restaurants amongst beautiful surroundings. Choose from one of the lakefront restaurants that line Beach Street, and enjoy some lunch with spectacular views of the lake and mountain ranges, fish and chips is a popular meal in this lakeside town.
After lunch, make your way to the Queenstown Gardens which is about a 5-minute stroll from the beach, wander through the beautiful botanical gardens filled with trees and flowers and follow the trail down to Lake Wakatipu. Enjoy a game of disk golf or tennis in the park.
Spend a leisurely afternoon on the beach (during the summer months, Dec - Feb), Queenstown beach sits on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, a great place to relax and enjoy the stunning scenery with views of Cecil and Walter Peaks. Enjoy some of the water sports offered down by the lake or take a boat tour out on the lake.
Alternatively, take a hike or bike ride up Queenstown Hill, the popular hiking trail `The Time Walk` takes you uphill to the summit (2,976ft) through the forests filled with Douglas Firs. At the top enjoy breathtaking views over the city and lake below. Check out the `Basket of Dreams` sculpture at the top.
On your first evening in the city take the Skyline Gondola, up the side of Bob`s Peak with magnificent views over Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and Coronet Peak. At the top of Bob`s Peak is the Stratosfare Restaurant, a bar, a café, shops and an observation deck, explore the area and take in the surroundings before grabbing a bite to eat while enjoying a `The Kiwi Haka Show`, a Maori cultural experience performed daily.
After dinner, take part in one of the stargazing tours where you will learn about the stars of the Southern Hemisphere.
Alternatively take a ride down the mountain on the Skyline Luge, which features two downhill tracks with corners, tunnels, and dippers on board a 3 wheel luge cart! Let gravity do its thing while you experience a real-life version of Mario Cart!
Head back to the hotel for a good night`s rest.
Day 2 in Queenstown
Start your second day in the `Adventure Capital of the World` on the Shotover River, choose from an exhilarating jet boat ride or white water rafting. The Shotover Jet will zip you around narrow passages through jagged cliffs and rocks while traveling down the river at 50 mph and spinning you around with a few 360-degree spins! Or take the plunge and try white water rafting, cruise along the river and down the rapids through the 557ft long Oxenbridge Tunnel.
Bring a picnic out with you today as you will be in the backcountry which boasts plenty of beautiful places to sit and enjoy a lunch on your adventure filled day out.
Skippers Canyon is the historic gorge that the Shotover River runs through. The river and the gorge stretch for over 13 miles through the backcountry. This area is famous for its gold mining history when gold was discovered here back in 1862. Travel along the narrow scenic Canyon road or visit Skippers Canyon Bridge.
For the extreme adventurist head to Kawarau Bridge, the original site of the bungee jump. Queenstown is the `World Home of Bungee Jumping`. AJ Hackett invented bungee jumping back in 1988 and bungee jumping is one of the most popular activities in the area. Choose from the `jump` menu and take the 141 ft leap off the ledge and plunge head first over the river. If you are not brave enough to take the leap you can watch from a viewing platform on the bridge.
After an adventure-filled day, make your way to Onsen Hot Pools and enjoy a relaxing spa experience in their private outdoor hot pools. Sit back and relax with a glass of wine and stunning views overlooking the Shotover River, while breathing in the fresh mountain air and soaking up the tranquil surroundings.
Head back to downtown Queenstown for the evening and sink your teeth into the town`s famous Fergburgers! Choose from a classic beef burger, lamb or pork on a mouthwatering bun and extras. Take a walk around downtown which is the center for most of the city`s nightlife. Find a wide array of bars, pubs, and eateries and be sure to check out the famous Ice Bars for a chilly experience.
Day 3 in Queenstown
Today make your way to the historic quaint Arrowtown, this charming village made famous during the Otago gold rush era has many wonderful things to offer its visitors. Wander around the scenic village and visit the old style shops and galleries, check out the famous Lake District Museum and Art Gallery, as well as the ancient cottages and churches in the area and grab some breakfast at one of the cafes.
From here head out to one of the many vineyards in the Otago wine region, visit a winery where you can sample the famous wines made in the region. Learn about the growing and harvesting process and sample some delicious cheeses all while taking in the beautiful surroundings of the `Valley of Vines`.
Make your way back to downtown to Steamers Wharf and hop on board the historic TSS Earnslaw aka `The Lady of the Lake` steamboat for a scenic cruise across Lake Wakatipu with views of Cecil Peak and Walter Peak. The steamboat takes you over to Walter Peak High Country Farm, an idyllic farm and working sheep and cow station. Here you can witness the farm life and feed the animals as well as watch a live sheep shearing demonstration and the art of spinning wool. Enjoy some afternoon tea and freshly baked home goods and take in the stunning surroundings.
On your last evening in Queenstown head to downtown or the lakefront for a tasty meal at one of the many restaurants featured in the area, many that are home to award-winning chefs. Enjoy fresh seafood, ethnic or international cuisine with a fine glass of wine from the region. After dinner stroll along Beach Street and wander into the shops for some last minute souvenirs. Walk around downtown which is filled with more than 50 bars and clubs providing a vibrant night out.
Additional Days in Queenstown
Should you be able to spend additional days in Queenstown be sure to experience some of the magnificent mountain ranges and peaks in the area. Visit the famous Remarkables mountain range in Otago, situated on the southeastern shore of Lake Wakatipu. These stunning mountains rise up to 7,608 feet which are home to ski fields with 47 ski and snowboarding trails spread out over 7 trails and 3 terrain parks.
Take the hike along The Ben Lomond trail, the mountain reaches 5,735ft in height and connects to Bowen Peak and Bob`s Peak with three access routes. Enjoy stunning views on the walking and hiking trails that weave in and out of the forest and panoramic views from the summit.
If you are visiting during the winter months, June - September head to Coronet`s Peak which is a ski field west of Arrowtown. A world-class ski resort covering 692 acres of skiable terrain suitable for all levels as well as night-skiing on Friday and Saturday nights until 9 pm.
Your Last Day in Queenstown
Depart from your hotel to the airport for your return flight home. We recommend that you purchase a private transfer to the airport if so the representative will meet you at your hotel with plenty of time to get you to the airport for your flight out.