There are two conversations people generally engage in after a quick trip to Queenstown: 1. “I can’t believe we waited this long to visit”, and 2. “when are we going back?”. It’s fair to say Queenstown sits atop the list as New Zealand’s premier tourist destination for a range of reasons.
To begin with, Queenstown is the adventure capital of the world, and offers a variety of world class adrenaline pumping activities such as bungy jumping, white water rafting, jet boating, canyon swinging and skydiving. For the more leisurely inclined, there’s a plethora of classy, romantic Queenstown venues set up perfectly for a memorable local honeymoon – these include cruises around Lake Wakitipu, idyllic vineyards in stunning settings, shopping in the town centre, dinner and drinks at internationally renowned golf clubs, short or multiple day hikes, hot spas with breath taking views…the list really does go on. Needless to say, if you haven’t visited Queenstown already, it should definitely be featured on your honeymoon wish list.
A short flight from Auckland (120mins), Wellington (90mins) or Christchurch (70mins) – Queenstown airport is only a 10 minute drive from the town centre. Or you could get creative and hire a camper van for a romantic road trip. There are plenty of other smaller towns worth a visit on your way in – such as Arrowtown which was established during the gold rush of the 1860s, or Glenorchy, 45 minutes from Queenstown, set against a background of native forest and spectacular mountain ranges.
There are far too many to list but our top 5 picks would have to be:
- Visit a vineyard. Known for its Pinot Noir, wider Queenstown is home to over 70 vineyards producing a wide range of wine varieties. Noteworthy vineyards include Gibbston Valley, Amisfield, Peregrine and Mt Difficulty.
- Soak in a private cedar-lined hot tub with a glass of bubbles in hand while overlooking the Shotover River canyon. Onsen hot pools is incredibly insta-worthy and the best way to enjoy a sunset in Queenstown. There’s also a tranquil day-spa if you wanted to treat yourself to a couples massage after a hard day of being a tourist.
- Take a ride up the iconic Skyline Gondola. Grab a bite to eat, walk one of the tracks, or if you’re feeling adventurous have a luge race down the hill…but watch out for those corners!
- Take your marriage to new heights and go tandem bungy jumping. The legendary Kawarau bridge bungy would be the top of our list. Go on!
- Take a day trip from Queenstown to the Milford Sound where you can spend the day cruising the tranquil fjord whilst gazing at all the wildlife, dramatic waterfalls and the majestic Mitre Peak.
Queenstown has year-round appeal but the peak is during summer (December through February), when the long sunny days make outdoor excursions enjoyable. But there’s also a second peak during Winter (July through August in particular) for those who enjoy winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding at world renowned ski fields such as Cardrona and Treble Cone.
In Queenstown there’s accommodation to suit all tastes and honeymoon budgets. For views you can’t beat the QT Queenstown or Azur Lodge. For a bit of luxury Stoneyridge Estate, The Rees or Hotel St Moritz are good picks. For the budget conscious Melbourne Lodge or The Oaks Shore Resort are centrally located, great value and still has lovely views. The main thing to note is to book well in advance as a lot of accommodation books up fast, especially if there’s an event going on such as the NZ Golf Open, Winter Games, or the Queenstown Marathon.