Day trips from Queenstown
With so much to see and do in Queenstown, you could easily spend a week here, but if you're searching for day trips outside of the city, here are a few suggestions.
On your way to Wanaka, make a pit stop in historic Arrowtown. Arrowtown, only 15 minutes from central Queenstown, was established during the gold rush, and the tree-lined alleys come alive in a burst of autumn colors in April and May.
This quaint hamlet, tucked away on the northern beaches of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by native beech forest and high mountain ranges, is a true outdoor enthusiast's heaven. Popular activities include horseback riding, jet boating, and kayaking; Glenorchy is also the starting point for several of New Zealand's top hiking trails. The Routeburn Track, which is one of the Great Walks, as well as the Rees and Dart Track and the Greenstone/Caples Track, are all close by. The scenery around here will astound you, with many of them appearing in the Lord of the Rings and Narnia films.
Wanaka, a lovely lakeside village, will greet you with open arms. Get up close and personal with nature in some of the most stunning locations on the South Island. Sightseeing tours into mountain, lake, and island settings straight out of MiddleearthTM are offered by companies like Eco Wanaka. If you plan on trekking or climbing in Mt Aspiring National Park, Wanaka is a good place to start. Climbing, fishing, tramping, and skydiving are all popular year-round activities.
Central Otago Towns
Central Otago is unmistakably wine country. As you leave Queenstown, you'll pass through Gibbston Valley before arriving in the towns of Bannockburn, Cromwell, and Alexandra and Clyde, which are a little further out. In the area, there are more than 80 wineries. Enjoy al fresco eating with some of the greatest fresh, seasonal food in the country - this is the indisputable home of summer fruit from cherries to apples and apricots - as well as the region's claim to fame, local Pinot Noir.
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