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The Best Day Trips from Queenstown

Queenstown is a stunningly beautiful location in the South Island of New Zealand. With its breathtaking alpine views, turquoise blue lake, and plethora of outdoor activities, it’s the perfect destination for a short break. But if you’re looking for the ultimate day trip from Queenstown, then you’re in luck – there are so many amazing experiences to be had in the area.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the best day trips from Queenstown. From thrilling mountain biking trails to majestic alpine lakes, there’s something for everyone. So grab your camera and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!

1. Explore the Remarkables

The Remarkables mountain range is one of the most iconic sights in Queenstown. Spanning over 16,000 acres of rugged mountain terrain, the Remarkables are a must-see for any visitor to the area. There are a number of ways to explore the Remarkables, from short walks to full-day hikes.

For the more adventurous, there’s the option of tackling the Remarkables via mountain bike. There are a number of trails to choose from, including the popular Ben Lomond Track. This 8-hour loop takes you through some of the most spectacular alpine scenery in the region.

For a more relaxing experience, the Queenstown Hill Walk is a great option. This leisurely 4-hour hike takes you through native forest and alpine meadows, with stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables.

2. Take a Trip to Milford Sound

Milford Sound is one of New Zealand’s most iconic destinations. This majestic fiord is home to some of the most stunning scenery in the world, with towering mountains, lush rainforest, and cascading waterfalls.

The best way to experience Milford Sound is by taking a boat trip. You can choose from a number of tour operators, with options ranging from a short cruise to a full-day excursion. On the boat, you’ll get to see the majestic Mitre Peak, fur seals, dolphins, and a variety of birdlife.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also take a kayak tour of the fiord. This is a great way to get up close to the impressive cliffs and explore the hidden coves and inlets.

3. Visit Arrowtown

Arrowtown is an historic gold mining town located just a short drive from Queenstown. The quaint streets are lined with charming stone cottages, boutique shops, and cafes. It’s the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll.

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The town’s main attraction is the Chinese Settlement. This was the first Chinese community to be established in New Zealand, and it’s now an open-air museum that tells the fascinating story of the Chinese miners who lived here in the 1800s.

After exploring the settlement, take a wander along the Arrow River. This is a great spot for gold panning – you never know, you might even strike it lucky and find a nugget or two!

4. Experience Glenorchy

Glenorchy is a small town located on the northern end of Lake Wakatipu, just a short drive from Queenstown. This is a great spot for a day trip, with plenty of outdoor activities to keep you entertained.

If you’re feeling adventurous, there are a number of hikes to explore. The most popular is the Routeburn Track, a stunning 3-day trek that takes you through some of the most spectacular alpine scenery in the region.

If you’d prefer something a little more relaxed, then why not take a cruise on the lake? There are a variety of tour operators offering cruises, with options ranging from short trips to full-day excursions.

5. Enjoy a Picnic at Lake Wanaka

Lake Wanaka is one of the most beautiful lakes in New Zealand. It’s a great spot for a day trip, with plenty of activities to keep you entertained.

For the more adventurous, there’s the option of tackling the Roys Peak Track. This 4-hour hike takes you to the summit of Roys Peak, with stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountain ranges.

For a more leisurely experience, pack a picnic and head down to the lake. The tranquil waters are perfect for swimming, and there’s plenty of space to lay out a blanket and enjoy a leisurely lunch.

6. Take a Jetboat Ride on the Dart River

If you’re looking for an adrenaline-filled adventure, then look no further than the Dart River Jetboat Ride. This thrilling tour is a great way to experience the stunning alpine scenery of the Southern Alps.

The tour starts with a short drive through the rugged backcountry before arriving at the jetboat launch site. You’ll then hop onboard the jetboat and experience the full force of the river as you speed through the rapids and skid around the corners.

The tour finishes with a stop at the stunning Paradise Valley, where you can take in the majestic mountain views and get some great photos.

7. Visit the Historic Town of Arrowtown

The historic town of Arrowtown is the perfect destination for a day trip from Queenstown. Located just a short drive from the city, this quaint town is home to a number of historic buildings, including the Chinese Settlement and the historic Arrowtown Hotel.

Take a stroll down the quaint streets and explore the boutique shops and cafes. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also take a wander along the Arrow River. This is a great spot for gold panning – who knows, you might even strike it lucky and find a nugget or two!

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8. Explore the Wanaka Wine Region

If you’re a fan of wine, then you won’t want to miss out on the opportunity to explore the Wanaka Wine Region. This picturesque region is home to a number of wineries, with some of the best wines in the country.

The best way to experience the region is by taking a guided tour. You’ll get to visit some of the best wineries in the area, tasting a variety of wines and learning about the winemaking process. The tours usually include a delicious lunch, so you can refuel after a morning of tasting.

If you’re looking for something a little more hands-on, then why not book a private winemaking experience? Here, you’ll learn the basics of winemaking and get to make your own bottle of wine to take home with you.

9. Take a Helicopter Ride Over Mount Aspiring

Mount Aspiring is one of New Zealand’s most iconic peaks, and it’s just a short drive from Queenstown. For the ultimate day trip, why not take a helicopter ride over the mountain?

The helicopter tour takes you up close to the mountain, giving you a bird’s eye view of the rugged alpine terrain. You’ll get to see some of the most stunning scenery in the region, with breathtaking views of the glaciers, lakes, and rivers below.

At the end of the tour, you’ll land on a remote alpine meadow, where you can take a short walk and enjoy the serenity of the mountain.

10. Visit the Historic Town of Arrowtown

The historic town of Arrowtown is the perfect destination for a day trip from Queenstown. Located just a short drive from the city, this quaint town is home to a number of historic buildings, including the Chinese Settlement and the historic Arrowtown Hotel.

Take a stroll down the quaint streets and explore the boutique shops and cafes. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also take a wander along the Arrow River. This is a great spot for gold panning – who knows, you might even strike it lucky and find a nugget or two!

11. Explore the Skippers Canyon

The Skippers Canyon is one of the most spectacular sights in the Queenstown region. This narrow gorge is home to a number of stunning waterfalls and natural rock formations, making it the perfect spot for a day trip.

The best way to explore the canyon is by taking a 4WD tour. This is a great way to get off-road and experience the rugged terrain of the canyon. You’ll get to see some of the most spectacular scenery in the region, with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and rivers.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also take a jetboat ride through the canyon. The Jetboating NZ tour takes you through the rapids and skids around the corners, giving you an adrenaline-filled adventure.

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12. Enjoy a Picnic at Lake Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu is one of the most beautiful lakes in New Zealand. It’s a great spot for a day trip, with plenty of activities to keep you entertained.

For the more adventurous, there’s the option of tackling the Roys Peak Track. This 4-hour hike takes you to the summit of Roys Peak, with stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountain ranges.

For a more leisurely experience, pack a picnic and head down to the lake. The tranquil waters are perfect for swimming, and there’s plenty of space to lay out a blanket and enjoy a leisurely lunch.

Summary

Queenstown is the perfect destination for a short break, with plenty of amazing day trips to choose from. From thrilling mountain biking trails to majestic alpine lakes, there’s something for everyone. So grab your camera and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!

Some of the best day trips from Queenstown include exploring the Remarkables, taking a trip to Milford Sound, visiting the historic town of Arrowtown, and taking a jetboat ride on the Dart River. For a more leisurely experience, why not take a picnic to Lake Wanaka or Lake Wakatipu?

No matter what kind of adventure you’re looking for, Queenstown has something for everyone. So get out and explore – you won’t be disappointed!