If you’ve travelled from afar for your wedding in Queenstown, it’s fair to say you’ll want to make the most of your time here. After you’ve had your fill of Queenstown, take advantage of the many day trip opportunities on offer! Read on for a list of our favourite accessible day trips with Queenstown as your base.
Wanaka – About a 50-minute drive from Queenstown is the beautiful town of Wanaka. Known for its stunning lake, scenic walks, biking trails and Cardrona ski field, there’s an endless list of activities available here. En-route to Wanaka from Queenstown, be sure to stop at Cardrona Hotel for a coffee and snack, or visit Cardrona Distillery for something a bit stronger!
Arrowtown – This historic gold mining town is a must-visit if you have some extra time before or after your wedding. Just a 20-minute drive form central Queenstown, this lovely spot offers renowned restaurants and cafes, scenic walks, as well as gold panning experiences and tours so you can take a step back in time and learn what life was like for the miners here.
Glenorchy and Paradise – About a 45-minute drive from Queenstown, you will find Glenorchy – a literal slice of paradise. On offer here is a variety of scenic trails for walking and biking, as well as other activities like horseback riding, rafting, jet boat riding, ziplining and scenic tours. Make sure to pick up some souvenirs at the local shops and grab a coffee at The Glenorchy Café. Just outside of Glenorchy, you’ll find Paradise. Known as the setting of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Narnia movies, you will recognise the stunning backdrop of native beech forest, flowing streams and the towering mountains surrounding the area. Enjoy a scenic walk in Middle Earth!
Gibbston Valley – If you’re a wine lover, Gibbston Valley, or ‘The Valley of the Vines’ is unmissable! This is where some of the best wine in the country is grown. Not only is the wine sublime, but so are the views. Sip on a Pinot Noir amongst the vines with endless views of the mountains around you and flowing streams. Enjoy Gibbston Valley’s famous cheesery, or perhaps take it all in with a guided wine tour. If you’re up for it, you can also bike from winery to winery – a fun way to experience the area!
Milford Sound – A bit further afield is the famous Milford Sound. Described as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’, it’s easy to understand why once you experience it for yourself. From Queenstown, Milford Sound is about a 5-hour drive away or you can enjoy a scenic 45-minute flight. Either way, when you arrive, definitely take advantage of the cruise on the fiord to learn about this World Heritage Site and spot dolphins, penguins and gushing waterfalls.
Bannockburn & Cromwell – Just less than an hour away form Queenstown is another incredible spot for wine lovers, Bannockburn. Sample some of the area’s most renowned wines and enjoy a delicious, scenic lunch at Carrick Winery or Mt Difficulty Wines. If you’re feeling a bit more active, hike the Stewart Town trail through steep cliffs and pinnacles – you’ll feel like you’ve just stepped into a classic western film! Just 10 minutes from Bannockburn is Cromwell, a small town famous for its fruit growing. Visit the quaint shops and cafes here, take a stroll by the river or enjoy some water activities on Lake Dunstan. On the way back to Queenstown, be sure to stop at the family-owned Mrs. Jones’ Fruit Stall and sample their fresh fruit and delicious ice cream!